Pamela Harris Confirmed; Republican Senator Exasperated

By William Peacock, Esq. on July 29, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It was barely a few months' time before a nominee was put forward to fill Senior Judge Andre Davis' seat. At the time, we were shocked; considering the number of vacancies nationwide, some of which were many years old, a vacancy being filled this quickly was basically a modern miracle.

Pamela Harris was the nominee. And only a few months later, she is now confirmed. Welcome to the Fourth Circuit, Judge Harris!

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Like We Said: That's Quite a Resume

We won't rehash her resume in full, since we already did that when covering the nomination, but there is the short version: clerked for the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court, then practice at the DOJ, BigLaw with O'Melveny & Meyers (focusing on Supreme Court and Appellate litigation, of course), was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, co-directed Harvard's Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Clinic, and then became the executive director of Georgetown's Supreme Court Institute. Oh, and she wedged anther two-year stint at the DOJ in there somewhere towards the end.

Whew. Bottom line? She qualified. And now, the visiting Georgetown Law professor can add Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals judge to the list.

Shocker: She May be a Liberal

When the nomination was announced, we noted that it was pretty much a sure thing: the filibuster is dead and no blue slips were coming, as both of Maryland's senators had endorsed her candidacy.

Not everyone is happy about the expeditiousness, however.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) seemed positively apoplectic about the confirmation, noting that her record before being nominated was (gasp) "full of left-wing philosophy," reports The Hill Blog. (Wait, a Democratic president nominated a liberal. Why?)

"It's as if there were two entirely distinct nominees vying for the same nomination," Grassley said. "The post-nominations statements are strikingly different than her pre-nomination views. From this nominee's past commentary we know she's a liberal. ... Is there any doubt that this nominee views the courts as a third political branch?" (A liberal and a judicial activist -- that's two strikes.)

"Professor Harris is a rock solid vote for protecting the ObamaCare subsidy," Grassley said earlier this week. (Uh bro? That case was decided last week. Sure, en banc is a possibility, but it's just as likely that the 4th and D.C. Circuits will pass on en banc to let the Supreme Court give it a go. Just sayin'.)

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