Seattle attorney Eric Miller was confirmed Tuesday by the U.S. Senate to be the newest judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Senators voted 53-46 along party lines, over the objections of Washington’s two Democrat senators, Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell, who spent time on the Senate floor objecting to the break in tradition; it was the first time the Senate has disregarded the objections of the two senators from the nominee’s home state.
The appeals court oversees the Western states appeals, including Alaska and is the most left-leaning of the appeals courts.
Miller is with the Perkins Coie law firm, where he had focused on Supreme Court and appellate litigation.
He has presented over 60 appeals arguments, including 16 at the Supreme Court.
In Lewis v. Clarke, 137 S. Ct. 1285 (2017), he won a unanimous decision establishing that the sovereign immunity of an Indian tribe does not bar damages actions against tribal employees.
He was an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States, where he represented the government to the Supreme Court in numerous cases, including those involving communications, energy, employment, and administrative law.
Eric was a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law, where he taught Supreme Court Decision Making. He also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Miller has been a member of the legally conservative Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. He donated to the presidential campaign of Marco Rubio.
The American Bar Association gave him a unanimous Well Qualified rating for the seat that opened last March when Judge Richard Tallman moved to senior status.