President Trump has nominated two Tulane Law alumni to the United States Sentencing Commission, an independent, non-partisan body that oversees the federal sentencing guidelines and advises on criminal sentencing policy. On March 1, the President nominated Judge William H. Pryor, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and a 1987 Tulane Law alumnus, to serve as Chair of the Sentencing Commission. Judge Pryor has served as a member of the Commission since 2013. Originally nominated by President Barack Obama, he presently serves as Acting Chair of the Commission. Along with Judge Pryor’s nomination as Chair, the President also nominated Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo (L'86), of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a member of the Sentencing Commission. Both judges had substantial experience with criminal law and policy before their appointment to the federal bench. Before joining the Eleventh Circuit in 2004, Judge Pryor served as the Attorney General of Alabama from 1997 to 2004. He is a co-author of the 2016 treatise, The Law of Judicial Precedent.
Judge Restrepo served for 17 years as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Philadelphia before being nominated by President Obama as a U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2013. Two years later, President Obama elevated Judge Restrepo to the Third Circuit. Before his appointment to the federal bench, Judge Restrepo practiced law in Philadelphia, including six years as a public defender in the state and federal courts.
“We’re very proud of the leadership and public service provided by Judges Pryor and Restrepo,” said Dean David Meyer. “That two of the seven members of the Sentencing Commission will be Tulane Law alumni is an impressive reflection of the accomplishments and public-spiritedness of our remarkable alumni.“ Judge Pryor was inducted into the Tulane Law School Hall of Fame in 2017, and Judge Restrepo will be returning to campus on March 20, 2018, to preside over the final, honorary round of Tulane’s appellate moot court competition. Members of the Sentencing Commission are confirmed by the U.S. Senate and serve six-year terms.