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Patricia Millett

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Appointed by  Barack Obama
Name  Patricia Millett
Preceded by  John Roberts
Patricia Ann Millett cdntheatlanticcomassetsmediaimgposts201310
Alma mater  University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignHarvard University
Education  University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Harvard Law School

Born  September 1963 (age 57) Dexter, Maine, U.S.

Similar  Robert L Wilkins, Sri Srinivasan, John Roberts

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Patricia Ann Millett ( //, born September 1963) is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She formerly headed the Supreme Court practice at the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Millett also was a longtime former assistant to the United States Solicitor General and served as an occasional blogger for SCOTUSblog. At the time of her confirmation to the D.C. Circuit, she had argued 32 cases before the United States Supreme Court. In February 2016 The New York Times identified her as a potential nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.


Patricia Millett SCOTUS COMMoTUS on emaze

Millett's 2013 nomination to the D.C. Circuit, along with the nominations of Robert L. Wilkins and Nina Pillard, ultimately became central to the debate over the use of the filibuster in the United States Senate, leading to the use of the nuclear option to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Patricia Millett Senate Confirms Patricia Millett to DC Circuit The BLT The Blog

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Early life and education

Patricia Millett Getting to Know Obama Court Nominee Patricia Ann Millett Washingtonian

Millett was born in 1963 in Dexter, Maine to a family with Mainer roots stretching to the Revolutionary War. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985. She then earned a J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1988.

Professional career

Patricia Millett One potential Supreme Court nominee always ready for a fight WTOP

Millett began her legal career by working from 1988 until 1990 in the litigation department of the Washington, D.C. law firm Miller & Chevalier. She then worked from 1990 until 1992 as a law clerk for Judge Thomas Tang on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Patricia Millett theusconstitutionorgsitesdefaultfilesslidemi

From 1992 until 1996, Millett worked for four years for the United States Department of Justice Civil Division's appellate staff, briefing and arguing more than 20 cases before federal appeals courts and occasionally state appeals courts.

Patricia Millett Patricia Millett Wikipedia

In August 1996, Millett became an assistant to the United States Solicitor General, a position she held until September 2007. During that time, Millett argued 25 cases before the United States Supreme Court and briefed more than 50 cases.

Patricia Millett DC Circuit39s Patricia Millett Reflects on Clerking Diversity

In 2007, Millett joined the Washington, D.C. law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, co-chairing the firm's Supreme Court practice along with Tom Goldstein.

In October 2007, Millett began blogging at SCOTUSblog.

Consideration for Fourth Circuit

In February 2009, Legal Times reported that Millett was one of five Virginia residents recommended by the voluntary Virginia Bar Association lawyer organization to serve as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, along with Virginia state senator John S. Edwards, Virginia Supreme Court Justice Barbara Milano Keenan, University of Virginia School of Law professor James Ryan and former Virginia Supreme Court Justice John Thomas. At that time, the Fourth Circuit had four judicial vacancies, one of which was a seat generally thought to belong to Virginia, and all five candidates were among a larger group of individuals who had proactively submitted their information to the VBA and ostensibly hoped to be considered for a nomination to the Fourth Circuit by President Barack Obama.

On February 26, 2009, the Virginia State Bar separately deemed Millett to be "highly qualified" for the vacancy, along with Edwards, Keenan, and attorney Richard A. Simpson. Keenan was nominated by President Obama to fill the vacancy on September 14, 2009, confirmed by the Senate on February 26, 2010 and sworn-in on March 9, 2010.

Consideration for D.C. Circuit

On May 27, 2013, the New York Times reported that President Obama was considering nominating Millett to one of three vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

On June 4, 2013, Obama nominated Millett to serve as a United States Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the seat vacated by Judge John Roberts, who was elevated to the United States Supreme Court on September 25, 2005. The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary held hearing on her nomination on July 10, 2013, and reported her nomination to the floor on August 1, 2013, by a vote of 10 ayes to 8 nays, entirely along party lines.

On October 28, 2013, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid motioned to invoke cloture on Millett's nomination. On October 31, 2013, the motion to invoke cloture was rejected 55-38, with 3 senators voting "present."

On November 21, 2013, the motion to invoke cloture was again rejected, 57-40 with 3 senators voting "present." A motion to reconsider the motion to invoke cloture was held shortly thereafter and passed 57-43. Senator Reid then requested a ruling from the presiding officer regarding the filibuster of judicial nominees. The President pro tempore ruled that the Senate required 60 votes to cut off a filibuster and move to a final vote. Senator Reid appealed that ruling and the Senate began voting on whether the President pro tempore's ruling should stand, setting up a vote on what is colloquially known as the "nuclear option." The ruling was not sustained in a 48-52 vote. As a result of that vote, the President pro tempore ruled that as of November 21, 2013, the threshold for invoking cloture on all executive branch nominees, and all district and circuit court nominees would be a simple majority of senators present and voting. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, immediately requested an appeal of that ruling; that appeal failed 52-48. The Senate then began voting on the motion to invoke cloture under the new majority-vote threshold. Cloture was subsequently invoked on a 55-43 vote with 2 senators voting "present."

On December 10, 2013, the Senate confirmed Millett in a 56-38 vote. She received her commission the same day.

Consideration for the U.S. Supreme Court

After the death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016, Millett's name was among those mentioned by court-watchers as a possible successor. President Obama ultimately nominated her D.C. Circuit colleague, Judge Merrick Garland.

Personal life

Millett and her husband, Robert King, reside in Alexandria, Virginia. She is active in Aldersgate United Methodist Church and has a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, according to her answers to a questionnaire for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.


Patricia Millett Wikipedia