Victoria Nourse and the 7th Circuit

Thanks to Danielle, Dan, and our friends at Concurring Opinions for having me back as a guest blogger. I just returned from the SEALS conference in Palm Beach and now am thrilled to blog again. I thought I’d use my first post to share about my former Emory colleague Victoria Nourse, who was recently nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. As a former clerk on that court, and someone who knows Victoria well, I couldn’t be happier with the nomination.

Victoria was a fantastic colleague, friend, and fellow academic in her time at Emory. She spent the last three years as the L.Q.C. Lamar Professor of Law here at Emory, while maintaining her appointment at the University of Wisconsin. During that time, Victoria managed to publish her award-winning book In Reckless Hands: Skinner v. Oklahoma and the Near-Triumph of Eugenics, in addition to a series of wonderful articles spinning off from her book research. Without any exaggeration, Victoria is a truly spectacular scholar, armed with a CV that nearly anyone would envy. I’m only sorry that I didn’t have a chance to learn even more from her while she was here.

Just as important, Victoria immediately emerged a leader on our faculty, well respected by colleagues across the political spectrum. I was very impressed how she handled sensitive issues of promotion and tenure while serving on the relevant committee. On a faculty that generally gets along but divides on a few important issues, Victoria earned the trust and confidence of her colleagues, and I know that she would quickly do the same on the Seventh Circuit if she is confirmed. She would bring a healthy pragmatism to that court, as well as a deep respect for the political process. Both are signatures of her scholarship and flow directly from her career experiences. Victoria has drafted legislation herself, worked in the Senate and at Justice, and has thought a great deal about the relationship between the political process and courts. The confirmation process can be a tangled mess, particularly during an election year, but Victoria Nourse’s confirmation to the Seventh Circuit should be an easy decision.

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3 Responses

  1. Former Emory Law Student says:

    Are you kidding me? That woman was despised by most of the Emory faculty and especially by her students. I cannot believe this blatant ass-kssing. Please, for your own self-respect and for what might possibly remain of Emory’s reputation, remove this article.

  2. Another former Emory law student says:

    Professor Kang is right. The previous commenter was obviously not impressed, but his or her experience was very different from mine. I took one of Professor Nourse’s seminars and found it to be fantastic. She was always a thoughtful, hardworking teacher and a dedicated advocate of her students. She’s a first-rate scholar and will be a fantastic judge.

  3. Another Former Emory Law Student says:

    I agree with Professor Kang. I took two classes with Victoria Nourse during my time at Emory. I found her to be insightful and inspiring. The two professors for whom I worked had similar respect for Professor Nourse. She was one of the few professors I had who could explain seminal cases from multiple angles (legally, historically, politically, etc.) without making her explanations seem contrived. I do not know what type of experience the first commenter had with Professor Nourse. However, I hope that readers here recognize that the opinion of one student at 1:00am does not represent the opinion of the majority of Professor Nourse’s former students and colleagues.