Judiciary

Law prof confirmed to 4th Circuit; Grassley says she was fast tracked in time for health-law appeal


Pamela Harris, a visiting law professor at Georgetown University, was confirmed on Monday to the Richmond, Va.-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Senate usually considers judicial confirmations in order, but Harris was approved despite the longer pending nomination of Jill Pryor to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Legal Times reports.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, complained that Harris’ record is full of “left-wing philosophy.” He charged that Harris’ nomination was fast tracked because of 4th Circuit decisions on federal laws, including the Obama administration’s health care law, according to the Hill and Legal Times.

On Friday, the 4th Circuit upheld an Internal Revenue Service interpretation of the health law that allows tax credits for low-income people who buy insurance through federal as well as state insurance exchanges. The decision conflicted with another federal appeals ruling on Friday.

“Professor Harris is being fast-tracked to the 4rth Circuit, just in time for another en banc appeal, should one materialize,” Grassley said. “Professor Harris is a rock solid vote for protecting the Obamacare subsidy.”

Harris is a former appellate partner at O’Melveny & Myers, Legal Times. She also previously served in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, according to the Associated Press.

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