President Obama has nominated Stephanie Dawn Thacker to the United States Circuit Court for the Fourth Circuit and Gregg Jeffrey Costa to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Ms. Thacker would fill the seat left open by the death of Judge Michael, and Mr. Costa would fill a judicial emergency seat created when Judge Rainey took senior status. Ms. Thacker is currently a practicing attorney and adjunct professor of law specializing in complex litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, and criminal defense. From 1994-1999 she served as an Assistant United States Attorney, taking part in the first prosecution in the nation under the Violence Against Women Act. She worked for the Department of Justice at the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section from 1999-2006, focusing on issues related to sex trafficking, sex tourism, child sexual exploitation and related matters. Mr. Costa has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Texas since 2005. He clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist from 2001-2002 after serving for a year as a Bristow Fellow at the Office of the Solicitor General in the United States Department of Justice. Before entering law school, he was a school teacher in Mississippi through the Teach for America program.
With these nominations, there are now 57 nominees pending for the 113 vacancies in the federal judiciary. For the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on judicial nominations, visit the Judicial Selection Project webpage.