Legal academics have had a tough time winning confirmation for high-profile government jobs.
But Loyola University New Orleans School of Law professor Stephen Higginson had a relatively easy time of it. The Senate voted unanimously on Oct. 31 to confirm him for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
President Obama nominated Higginson in May and he was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in July.
“Professor Higginson’s commitment to the legal field, paired with his tremendous dedication to serve the community, has made him a distinguished member of our law school faculty,” said María Pabón López, dean of Loyola University’s College of Law. “I am delighted by his recent appointment and I know that he will be a great judge and make a positive impact.
Higginson joined the Loyola law faculty in 2004 and teaches constitutional law, evidence and criminal law. He has also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Louisiana since 1993, continuing in a part-time position after joining Loyola. He has served as the chief of appeals since 1995 and has written and edited more than 100 appellate briefs. He has argued numerous cases before the 5th Circuit, which is based in New Orleans.
Louisiana U.S. senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter both spoke in favor of Higginson’s confirmation on the Senate floor.
Higginson is not the only Loyola law school faculty member heading to the federal bench. Former visiting professor Nannatte Jolivette-Brown was confirmed for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New Orleans on Oct. 3.
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