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Law Professors Nominated for Court, White House Posts

Cornelia Nina Pillard

Cornelia “Nina” Pillard

June 18, 2013 – The Obama administration has nominated two Georgetown law professors  – Cornelia “Nina” Pillard to a post on the U.S. Court of Appeals and Howard Shelanski to the White House’s information and regulatory affairs office.

President Obama nominated Pillard to fill one of three vacancies on the 11-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit earlier this month. 

“Nina will be an extraordinary judge. She has a superb background as a government official and a Supreme Court advocate,” says William Treanor, dean of Georgetown’s Law Center. “She is a remarkably gifted teacher, and she is a thoughtful and engaged scholar who grapples with important questions.”

Pillard teaches civil procedure, constitutional law and a variety of upper-level seminars and courses. She also is the faculty co-director of the Georgetown Law Supreme Court Institute.   

Great Judgment

She spent a decade as a practicing lawyer before joining Georgetown’s faculty in the 1990s and also served in various government positions before joining the Law Center as a tenured faculty member in 2000.

During her time at Georgetown, the law professor has submitted briefs for more than 25 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and argued nine cases before the nation’s highest court. She also has litigated cases in federal courts of appeals and trial courts around the country.

Her most prominent cases include United States v. Virginia (1996), which opened the Virginia Military Institute to women, and Nevada Department of Social Services v. Hibbs (2003), which sustained Family and Medical Leave Act rights against a constitutional challenge.  

Pillard served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1998 to 2000 and as assistant to the solicitor general from 1994 to 1997. 

“Her great judgment and experience, her deep knowledge of the law, and her commitment to the rule of law and to justice are a rare combination and the perfect qualifications for an appellate judge,” Treanor adds.

Howard Shelanski

Howard Shelanski

Brilliant Scholar

Earlier this spring, Obama nominated Shelanski to serve as administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Shelanski is currently on leave from teaching to serve as director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission.

He was appointed to the FTC post last year after serving as the bureau’s deputy director from 2009 to 2011. He also has served as chief economist of the Federal Communications Commission and as a senior economist for the President’s Council on Economic Advisers at the White House.

“Howard Shelanski is a brilliant scholar, a deeply knowledgeable antitrust lawyer and economist and dedicated public servant,” Treanor says. “I am very pleased that he [may] be serving our nation in this important post.”

Shelanski came to Georgetown Law in 2009 from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, where he was professor and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. His teaching and research at Georgetown focus on antitrust, regulation and telecommunications policy.

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