Kansas Supreme Court Justice Nancy Moritz Nominated for 10th Cir.

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By Betty Wang, JD on August 13, 2013 3:35 PM

The Obama administration has announced its nomination of Kansas Supreme Court Justice Nancy L. Moritz to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The announcement was made by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, who supports the confirmation. Moritz has served on Kansas' highest court since 2011.

Justice Moritz, 53, would fill the vacancy on the Tenth Circuit that has been open now for more than two years. This has been ever since Judge Deanell Tacha retired her spot on the bench to be dean of the law school at Pepperdine University.

More About Moritz

Mortiz was born and raised in Kansas and received her J.D. from Washburn University School of Law in 1985. After graduating, she worked as a research attorney for Justice Harold Herd on the Kansas Supreme Court, then as a law clerk for the U.S. District Court of the District of Kansas. After that, she joined a private law firm where she focused on civil litigation matters.

Mortiz later became an Assistant United States Attorney, supervising all civil and criminal appeals. She personally argued about 25 appeals before the Tenth Circuit.

Sen. Moran, who has often criticized President Obama's policies, seems to be an advocate this time. According to Moran, Moritz is "highly qualified" and he fully intends to vote for her in support.

Praise for Moritz

A group called Colorado Ethics Watch has also echoed firm support for Moritz's nomination, and is urging the Senate for a speedy confirmation.

On top of her track record for fairness and the support from Moran, a representative from Ethics Watch states also that:

The Tenth Circuit has the last word in almost all federal cases filed in Colorado and our neighboring states, including on important issues such as environmental protection, health care, voting rights, and equality under the law. Delays caused by Tenth Circuit vacancies hurt access to justice for businesses and individuals alike. We applaud the President for naming a qualified candidate to the Kansas vacancy and urge the Senate to consider her nomination without delay so that our Court of Appeals can function as intended.

Moritz, a frequent CLE presenter, was also the first woman to chair the Board of Editors of the Kansas Bar Journal, and has served on numerous other boards, including the Tenth Circuit Advisory Committee.

The fate of Moritz's nomination is now in the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee. If approved, Moritz will join the Tenth Circuit with a lifetime appointment.

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