UW law professor nominated for federal appeals court

July 15, 2010

Victoria F. Nourse, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, was nominated Wednesday (July 14) by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Nourse teaches courses in legislation, statutory interpretation, constitutional history, and criminal law.

Nourse has written more than two dozen articles on Congress, statutory interpretation, constitutional history and the criminal law, published in Yale, Stanford, Penn, Texas and other law reviews. She has been a visiting professor at Yale and NYU law schools and the Lamar Professor of Law at Emory University.

Her recent book, “In Reckless Hands” has been praised for its "exemplary legal writing" and its commitment to tell the lost history of a home-schooled lawyer who, during the Depression, brings an unlikely cast of characters and their plight to the Supreme Court of the United States.  

Nourse came to teaching after a series of assignments in Washington and New York. She was senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee under the chairmanship of then-Senator, now Vice President Joseph Biden where she was charged with drafting the Violence Against Women Act.

Nourse came to the Judiciary Committee from appellate practice in the justice department, where she argued cases in the D.C. circuit and other courts of appeal. Prior to that, she served as special counsel to the Senate Iran-Contra committee. She received her bachelor’s degree at Stanford University and her law degree at the University of California-Berkeley.