The wife of a Navy retiree is among those being mentioned as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court in the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Patricia Millett has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, since Dec. 10, 2013.
According to a 2013 article in the Military Spouse J.D. Network's Bars and Stripes newsletter, Millett met her husband, Bob King, in 1995 in Washington, D.C., while he was serving at the Pentagon. They married a year later. After three years, King transitioned to the Navy Reserve, where he served until he retired in 2012. In 2004, he deployed for nine months while Millett was working as an assistant in the Office of the Solicitor General, juggling duties as a single parent of two young children while also handling a heavy Supreme Court caseload, according to the Bars and Stripes article. She argued one case before the Supreme Court and briefed five more.
"In a list of incredibly worthy candidates for nomination to the Supreme Court, Judge Patricia Millett tops them all. Her experience in front of the highest court and as a military spouse gives her a unique and unparalleled perspective that sets her apart," said attorney Elizabeth Jamison, spokeswoman for the Military Spouse JD Network. "Regardless of the politics surrounding the situation, military spouses are inspired by Judge Millett's ability to balance a successful career with the demands of the military lifestyle. MSJDN is proud of the many talented military spouse attorneys like Judge Millett who successfully navigate a legal career while serving alongside their service member."
After the Senate confirmed Millett in 2013 for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, President Obama described her as "a leading appellate lawyer who has made 32 arguments before the Supreme Court, the second-most by a female advocate. She has served in the Department of Justice for both Democratic and Republican presidents."
Millett graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1988. After two years with a private law firm, she clerked for Judge Thomas Tang of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. She worked for four years on the appellate staff of the civil division in the Justice Department, and 11 years as an assistant in the Office of the Solicitor General.
In September 2007, she became a partner leading the Supreme Court and appellate practices at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
She also holds a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do.