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Brown alum tapped for U.S. Court of Appeals

President Obama nominated Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson '73 to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit this week.  The nomination is awaiting a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee before it goes to the full Senate for confirmation.

"This is a great day for the United States justice system and a proud day for Rhode Island," Rhode Island senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both Democrats, said in a joint news release after the nomination. "Justice Thompson is an exceptional public servant with a profound respect for the rule of law."

After graduating from Brown — she came to Rhode Island from South Carolina to attend Pembroke College before it merged with Brown in 1971 — Thompson attended the Boston University School of Law, where she obtained a law degree in 1976. She was the first black woman to serve on the Rhode Island Superior Court when she took the bench in 1977, and in 1988 she became the first black woman to serve on the Rhode Island District Court.

Thompson served as a trustee on the Corporation, Brown's highest governing body, from 1999 to 2005.

If confirmed by the Senate, Thompson will be the first black judge and only the second woman to serve on the First Circuit appeals court, according to a Providence Journal article on Wednesday.


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