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Obama intends to nominate law professor to federal court

May 6, 2011

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law associate professor and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Higginson has been selected by President Barack Obama to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Higginson, who teaches constitutional law, evidence, and criminal law, began his distinguished legal career at the federal level in 1989. Since 1993, Higginson has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Louisiana, where he became the chief of appeals in 1995. In 2004, Higginson became a full-time member of Loyola's law faculty.

“We are extremely proud to have had Stephen as a member of the law faculty and are very pleased to hear of his nomination to the Court of Appeals,” said Loyola President the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. “Stephen’s in-depth knowledge of the practical applications of federal law, especially at the appellate level, made him a valuable resource to our law school and will serve him well in his new position on the federal bench.”

In order for Higginson to take his place on the court, Obama must officially nominate him and then the nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) have expressed support for Higginson's expected nomination.

As chief of appeals, Higginson has personally handled or supervised all criminal and civil appeals in the Fifth Circuit, 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.

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