September 08, 2011

Rockefeller and Manchin Say WV Lawyer Stephanie Thacker will be an Outstanding Federal Judge

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin issued the following statement this evening after President Obama nominated Stephanie Thacker to serve as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  The seat became vacant in March 2011 after the death of Judge Blane Michael, who had held the position since 1993.  Rockefeller encouraged the President to nominate Ms. Thacker, a native of Hamlin, West Virginia, for this federal judgeship.

“The White House has made an excellent choice in nominating Ms. Thacker and I am sure that she will be a fair and thoughtful federal judge,” said Rockefeller.  “It was with a heavy heart that I looked for a worthy candidate to recommend for the position that my dearest friend, Blane Michael, held for so many years.  I was honored to recommend Ms. Thacker for the job.  She possesses the types of qualities that should make all West Virginians proud – unquestioned integrity, a superior legal mind and experience, and a profound understanding of the real impact that judicial decisions have on people’s lives – and it is my hope that she will be confirmed soon by the Senate.  I would be truly honored to have her serve on the bench.” 

“I am so proud that one of West Virginia’s own, Stephanie D. Thacker, has been nominated to serve as the United States Circuit Court Judge for the Fourth Circuit,” Manchin said.  “Stephanie Thacker has already had a distinguished law career in both the public and private sectors, and I have no doubt she will succeed in on the Fourth Circuit Court.  Her nomination is an honor, and I hope my Senate colleagues will confirm her without delay.”


Born and raised in Hamlin, West Virginia, Ms. Thacker is now a Charleston resident where she is a member of the law firm of Allen Guthrie & Thomas.  At the firm, her practice includes complex litigation, environmental and toxic tort cases, and criminal defense.  Prior to that, she served as a federal prosecutor for twelve years in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia and in the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and also as a litigation associate in Pennsylvania and Charleston, West Virginia for four years.

As an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Thacker was part of the trial team that prosecuted the first federal domestic violence case in the country brought under the Violence Against Women Act in United States v. Bailey.  She prosecuted numerous other crimes relating to money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and mine safety.  She also helped to develop and coordinate a number of initiatives to combat domestic violence and criminal non-payment of child support in West Virginia. 

As an Attorney with the Department of Justice, Ms. Thacker rose to the level of Principal Deputy Chief, with primary responsibility for all of the litigation in Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.  She prosecuted cases relating to child exploitation, spearheaded nationwide initiatives to target offenders and help victims, drafted laws designed to prevent child prostitution and sex tourism, and helped conduct training on the prosecution of these crimes in the United States and around the world.  She received numerous awards for her work, including the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest given within the Department, for her role in the prosecution and trial of Dwight York, the leader of a worldwide pseudo-religious organization who molested countless children.

Ms. Thacker graduated magna cum laude in 1987 from Marshall University with a degree in business administration.  In 1990, she graduated Order of the Coif from the West Virginia University College of Law where she served as a member of the West Virginia Law Review, and the editor of the coal issue of the West Virginia Law Review.