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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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President Obama Nominates Tanya Chutkan for U.S. District Court Judge, Following Norton’s Recommendation

Dec 20, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) spoke by phone with Tanya Chutkan yesterday to inform her that President Obama would nominate her to become a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, as recommended by the Congresswoman.  Chutkan is currently a partner at the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, where her practice focuses on complex civil litigation, especially antitrust class actions, but also on white collar criminal defense and corporate investigations.  If confirmed by the Senate, Chutkan would be the second African American woman appointed to the district court here in 32 years, only the third to ever serve, and the second currently on the bench, joining Ketanji Brown Jackson, another Norton recommendation.

“Tanya Chutkan’s broad criminal and civil legal experience and professional reputation stood out among the many exceptionally well-qualified candidates,” said Norton.  “She will be a very able addition to our distinguished bench.”

Before joining Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP in 2002, Chutkan was a trial attorney and supervisor at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and had worked at the law firm of Donovan, Leisure, Rogovin, Huge & Schiller, and at Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells).  Chutkan is a graduate of George Washington University and University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as an Assitant Editor of the law review. 

President Obama, like President Clinton, granted Norton senatorial courtesy to recommend candidates for federal district court judges and other important federal law enforcement officials in the District.  The Congresswoman recommended Chutkan from a number of candidates screened by her Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission, chaired by Pauline Schneider, a special counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP and a former president of the D.C. Bar.   President Obama has nominated and the Senate has confirmed six of Norton’s other recommendations for district court judges – Ketanji Brown Jackson, Amy Berman Jackson, James E. Boasberg, Rudolph Contreras, Beryl A. Howell and Robert L. Wilkins, whom she believes will shortly be confirmed to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  Another Norton recommendation, Casey Cooper, is currently pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Published: December 20, 2013