May 5: President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Stephen Higginson to Serve on 5th Circuit

I don’t know how I missed this, but back on May 5th, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Stephen Higginson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

“Stephen Higginson is a distinguished candidate for the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,” President Obama said. “Both his legal and academic credentials are impressive and his commitment to judicial integrity is unwavering. I am confident he will serve the American people with distinction.”

Stephen Higginson was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard College, where he received his A.B., summa cum laude, in 1983. After graduating from Harvard, Higginson attended Cambridge University in England, where he was a Harvard Scholar, earning a Masters in Philosophy in 1984. He then attended Yale Law School and obtained his J.D. in 1987. While in law school, Higginson was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal.

After graduating from Yale Law School, Higginson served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia M. Wald of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The following year, from 1988 to 1989, Higginson served as a law clerk to the Honorable Byron R. White of the Supreme Court of the United States. He has been an Assistant United States Attorney since 1989, when he joined the Criminal Division in the District of Massachusetts. Since 1993, Higginson has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Louisiana, where he became the chief of appeals in 1995. As chief of appeals, Higginson has personally handled or supervised all criminal and civil appeals in the District, editing or writing more than 100 appellate briefs, and presenting numerous oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Higginson has received the Department of Justice’s awards for superior and outstanding performance as a federal prosecutor. From 1997 to 1998, he served a six-month detail with the Department of State, working as deputy director of special projects for the Presidential Rule of Law Initiative.

Since 2004, Higginson has worked part-time in the United States Attorney’s Office, continuing to supervise the appellate section. That same year, he joined the full-time faculty at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, becoming an Associate Professor of Law. Higginson teaches subjects including constitutional law, evidence, and criminal law.

I’ve known Steve since law school, where many people would have guessed he’d end up as a judge. He’ll be great — if the Senate ever confirms him.

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