Press Release

May 12, 2014
Cardin, Mikulski Praise Obama Nomination of Pamela Harris for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

Senators Recommended Ms. Harris to President Obama for Federal Bench

WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today praised President Obama’s nomination of Pamela A. Harris of Potomac, Maryland, to fill the vacancy created on the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals when Judge Andre Davis took senior status. The Fourth Circuit is a federal court located in Richmond, Virginia, with appellate jurisdiction over district courts in five states, including Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

“In making recommendations to President Obama for the appellate court, I look for candidates like Pamela Harris who have an appreciation for the Constitution and a judicial philosophy that reflects mainstream American values, not narrow ideological interests. Ms. Harris is exceptionally well qualified with tremendous legal experience in the private sector and academia,” said Senator Cardin. “Ms. Harris has an appreciation for the rights and responsibilities of each branch of government, having clerked at federal appellate courts and supervised policy initiatives at DOJ. She also has demonstrated a commitment to protect civil rights and individual liberties through her pro bono work. With roots in Montgomery County, she and her children are proud products of the Maryland public school system. She will serve the people of Maryland well.”

“I was proud to recommend Pamela Harris to President Obama and am so pleased she has been nominated to the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals,” Senator Mikulski said. “When I consider nominees for the federal bench, I have four criteria: absolute integrity, judicial competence and temperament; a commitment to core constitutional principles, and a history of civic engagement in Maryland. Pamela Harris meets and exceeds these standards. Ms. Harris has a commitment to the rule of law and a passion for how it affects the lives of ordinary Americans. She is an extraordinarily qualified Marylander that will be a true asset to the Fourth Circuit.”


Pamela Harris of Potomac, Maryland, is currently a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and a senior advisor to its Supreme Court Institute. She previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Policy at the United States Department of Justice.

After graduating from Walt Whitman High School in Maryland, Harris received her B.A. summa cum laude from Yale College in 1985 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1990. After graduating from law school, she clerked for Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1990 to 1991, worked as an associate at Shea & Gardner (now Goodwin Procter LLP) in Washington, D.C. from 1991 to 1992, and clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1992 to 1993. Harris served as an attorney-adviser in the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1993 to 1996. From 1996 to 1999, Harris was an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 1996 to 1999, where she was awarded the Harvey Levin Memorial Teaching Award.

Harris joined O’Melveny & Myers LLP as counsel in 1999, where she specialized in appellate and Supreme Court litigation. She became a partner in 2005. Beginning in 2007, while still in private practice, Harris co-directed Harvard Law School’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Clinic and was a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2009, Harris was named the Executive Director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown, serving as Executive Director until 2010, when she joined the Office of Legal Policy. Harris returned to Georgetown in 2012.