Victoria F. Nourse

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Victoria Frances Nourse (born November 9, 1958) is a Ralph V. Whitworth Professor of Law[1] at the Georgetown University Law Center and the executive director of the Center on Congressional Studies at Georgetown Law. A nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, pursuant to the rules of the Senate, her nomination was returned to the president on December 17, 2011, after the Senate adjourned for more than 30 days.[2] Her nomination was not resubmitted by the president. From 2014 to 2015, she served as Counsel to Vice President Joe Biden.

Early life and education[edit]

Nourse was born in Dunedin, Florida and received her Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in 1980 and later received a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1984.[3]

Professional career[edit]

After graduating from law school, Nourse clerked for Edward Weinfeld of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1984 and 1985. From 1985 to 1987 and during the winter of 1988, she worked in for the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. In 1987 she worked as an assistant counsel on the United States Senate Committee to Investigate the Iran-Contra Affair.[4]

During 1988 to 1990, Nourse was an appellate attorney with the United States Department of Justice working in the civil division. From 1990 to 1993, she worked as counsel and special counsel for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and was heavily involved in writing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She did this work under then-Senator Joe Biden. This generated national controversy when Biden attempted to claim he was the author of VAWA.[5]

Her historic battle to uphold VAWA is documented in many books, including "Equal: Women Reshape American Law" By Fred Strebeigh.[6] In this book she was included alongside Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a woman who had a history-changing effect on the law.[7]

From 1996 to 1997, Nourse was a visiting professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law. During the fall semester of 2002, she was a visiting professor of law at Yale Law School and taught law at New York University School of Law in the spring of 2003. From 2008 to 2010, Nourse was the LQC Lamar Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.[4]

In February 2019, Nourse was installed as the inaugural Ralph V. Whitworth Professor of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Consideration for Seventh Circuit[edit]

On January 22, 2010, United States Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold forwarded four names to the Obama White House for consideration to fill the vacancy on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals created when Judge Terence T. Evans assumed senior status.[8] Nourse was recommended along with District Court Judge Lynn S. Adelman, Richard Sankovitz, and Dean Strang.[8] On July 14, 2010, Obama nominated Nourse to the vacancy. Her nomination was returned to the President on December 17, 2011, pursuant to the rules of the Senate.[2]


Nourse is the daughter-in-law of United States federal judge Richard D. Cudahy who was a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Victoria Nourse Installed as the Inaugural Ralph V. Whitworth Professor". Georgetown University Law Center. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b Senate Record for December 17, 2011
  3. ^ "Victoria Nourse's University of Wisconsin Faculty Page". Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  4. ^ a b c "Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees" (PDF). United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. United States Senate. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  5. ^ Accuracy in Media Article regarding Victoria Nourse's input on VAWA
  6. ^ Equal on Google Books
  7. ^ Rutgers University Symposium on "Equal" by Fred Strebeigh
  8. ^ a b Adam Korbitz, Kohl, Feingold forward four names to President Obama for Seventh Circuit Archived 2010-02-14 at the Wayback Machine, State Bar of Wisconsin (January 25, 2010).