October 04, 2011

Manchin Remarks Introducing West Virginian for Federal Bench

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced a West Virginia native – Stephanie Thacker – in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today to support her nomination for the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Manchin cited Thacker’s wide-ranging expertise and outstanding courtroom and academic accomplishments as a phenomenal candidate. Senator Manchin told the Judiciary Committee that he is proud to call her a fellow West Virginian and hopes that she will be confirmed quickly. 

Full text of Senator Manchin’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below: 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to the Committee for inviting me here today. It is my privilege to join Senator Rockefeller in support of the nomination of Stephanie Dawn Thacker, a native of Hamlin, West Virginia, for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

I would first like to take a moment to recognize Ms. Thacker’s husband, John Carr; her sister, Samantha Sullivan; and her nephew, Wade. I am pleased that all of you were able to join us today for this very important hearing.

Stephanie Thacker’s impressive background and extensive list of accomplishments in both the public and private sectors make her an exceptional candidate for the 4th Circuit. She is renowned in our state for her mastery of the law and of the courtroom, and I have no doubt that she will make a highly successful federal judge.

Ms. Thacker has dedicated much of her career to fighting some of the most reprehensible offenses in our society. As a Trial Attorney, Deputy Chief of Litigation, and Principal Deputy Chief, she spent several years prosecuting cases on Child Exploitation and Obscenity at the Department of Justice. Her outstanding work and leadership earned her a number of honors at the DOJ, including four “Meritorious” Awards, and two “Special Achievement” awards. Her impressive performance in prosecuting the case of United States v. Dwight York earned her the Attorney General’s “Distinguished Service” award, one of the Department’s highest honors. She was also a recipient of the Assistant Attorney General’s awards for “Special Initiative” and “Outstanding Victim and Witness Service.” 

Prior to her service at the Department of Justice, Ms. Thacker worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, where she prosecuted a diversity of criminal cases, including money laundering and fraud. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Thacker also participated on the trial team prosecuting United States v. Bailey, the first case ever brought under the Violence Against Women Act. 

Since 2006, Ms. Thacker has been a partner at the prestigious law firm of Guthrie & Thomas in Charleston, West Virginia. While at the firm, she has concentrated on cases involving product liability, environmental and toxic torts, complex commercial defense, and criminal defense.

Ms. Thacker was a model student in both her undergraduate and legal studies. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Marshall University, and her J.D., Order of the Coif, from West Virginia University College of Law. While at WVU, she was a recipient of the Robert L. Griffin Memorial Scholarship and Editor of West Virginia Law Review’s Coal Issue. She has also recently been named “Outstanding Female Attorney” by WVU Law’s Women’s Caucus.

I believe that Ms. Thacker’s wide-ranging expertise in civil and criminal matters, her impressive track record in the courtroom as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, and her outstanding academic accomplishments will make her a first-rate addition to the 4th Circuit. I am proud to call her a fellow West Virginian and I hope that the Committee will move to confirm her for the vacancy quickly.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, and I welcome the opportunity to work with all of you to confirm Ms. Thacker in a timely manner.