Howard C. Nielson Jr.

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Howard C. Nielson Jr.
Personal details
Born Howard Curtis Nielson Jr.
1968 (age 49–50)
Provo, Utah, U.S.
Political party Republican
Relations Howard C. Nielson (Father)
Education Brigham Young University (BA)
University of Chicago Law School (JD)

Howard Curtis Nielson Jr. (born 1968) is a Washington, D.C. lawyer. He is currently a partner at Cooper & Kirk and a nominee to be a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.


Nielson received his Bachelor of Arts with university honors and summa cum laude from Brigham Young University and his Juris Doctor with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as articles editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.

Earlier in his career, he served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States and to Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. From 2001 to 2005, Nielson served in the United States Department of Justice, first as counsel to the Attorney General and later as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. He has taught courses in constitutional litigation, national security law, foreign relations law, and federal courts as a Distinguished Lecturer at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.[1]

Nomination to district court[edit]

On September 28, 2017, President Trump nominated Nielson to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Utah, to the seat vacated by Judge Ted Stewart, who took senior status on September 1, 2014. A hearing on his nomination before the Senate Judiciary Committee was held on January 10, 2018.[2] On February 8, the Judiciary Committee voted for Nielson by a party-line vote of 11–10.[3] Democrats on the committee opposed Nielson over his role in defending California's Proposition 8 and his role in reviewing two torture memos in 2004 and 2006 when he was serving as a deputy assistant general at the Office of Legal Counsel for the Justice Department.[4] On March 6, 2018, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth put a hold on his nomination.[5]


He was a member of the Federalist Society from 1997–2007.[6]


  1. ^ " President Donald J. Trump Announces Eighth Wave of Judicial Candidates" White House, September 28, 2017 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary".
  3. ^ Results of Executive Business Meeting – February 8, 2018, Senate Judiciary Committee
  4. ^ Swoyer, Alex (February 8, 2018). "Republicans clear judicial nominee over accusations of anti-LGBT bias". Washington Times. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Executive Calendar: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, "Notice of Intent to Object", United States Senate
  6. ^ United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees: Howard C. Nielson Jr.

External links[edit]