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Van Dyke to be nominated for 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Friday, September 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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President Donald J. Trump  announced today that he intends to nominate former Montana Supreme Court candidate Lawrence VanDyke to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

VanDyke was a candidate for the Montana Supreme Court in 2014, losing a contentious campaign against Justice Mike Wheat, who is now retired. VanDyke had previously served as Montana solicitor general.

He is currently a deputy attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division. From 2015 to 2019 he was Nevada's solicitor general. 

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, who appointed VanDyke to be Montana solicitor general, praised the nomination.

"I brought Lawrence Van Dyke onto my team when I first took office in 2013," Fox said. "I worked closely with him on complex, high-stakes litigation, and found him to be a jurist of the highest quality. He is a rooted westerner who will bring many talents and needed perspectives to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Lawrence will be a great addition to a court that plays a critical role in much of Montana’s litigation, and I am grateful to President Trump for nominating him.”

VanDyke earned his B.S., with highest honors, from Montana State University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He served as a law clerk to Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. 

VanDyke's Montana Supreme Court bid attracted controversy when four members of the 1972 Constitutional Convention sued to remove him from the 2014 ballot, arguing that he did not meet all of the requirements for Supreme Court justice. A state district court judge removed him from the ballot in a decision later reversed by the Montana Supreme Court.

VanDyke is currently an inactive member of the State Bar of Montana.


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