The Honorable Nancy Moritz, '85, nominated for Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

Photograph: The Honorable Nancy Moritz.Kansas Supreme Court Justice and Washburn University School of Law alumna Nancy Moritz, '85, Topeka, has been nominated by the Obama administration for a position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Justice Moritz grew up in Tipton, Kan., and her family moved to Salina when she was 15. She earned her bachelor's in business administration from Washburn University and her juris doctor from Washburn Law, where she also served as the notes editor on the Washburn Law Journal, receiving numerous awards for her scholarly work. She worked part-time as a law clerk to the judges of the Shawnee County District Court during law school.

Justice Moritz began her legal career as a research attorney for former Kansas Supreme Court Justice Harold S. Herd and then served two years as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Kelly. From 1989 to 1995, Justice Moritz was an associate with Spencer Fane Britt and Browne, in Overland Park, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., where she handled defensive matters and specialized in employment litigation. She returned to public service in 1995 when she became an Assistant United States Attorney in Kansas City, Kansas. She worked in the Civil Division of that office in Kansas City and later in Topeka until 1999, when she became the Appellate Coordinator for the United States Attorney's office, a position she held until she was appointed by Governor Kathleen Sebelius to the Kansas Court of Appeals in October 2004. Governor Mark Parkinson appointed her to the Kansas Supreme Court on November 1, 2010.

Throughout her legal career, Justice Moritz has served on the Board of Editors of the Kansas Bar Journal, and was the first woman to chair that organization. She has also served on the Kansas CLE Commission, the Tenth Circuit Advisory Committee and the Board of Governors of Washburn Law. She has written and published several legal articles and has been a frequent presenter at CLE programs statewide. She continues to be an active member of the Kansas Bar Association, and other professional and community organizations.

The Denver-based 10th Circuit court reviews cases from Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. Justice Moritz, 53, would fill a vacancy on the 10th Circuit created more than two years ago when Judge Deanell Tacha, a Kansan, retired.

The White House announcement of her appointment said: “She has had a lengthy career as both a jurist and as an advocate, during which she has handled a broad array of legal matters before both state and federal courts.”