January 23, 2018

Cassidy, Kennedy Applaud Judicial Nominations for Western and Eastern Districts of Louisiana

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and John Kennedy (R-LA) today applauded President Trump’s nominations of Robert Summerhays to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette) and Wendy Vitter to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

“Judge Robert Summerhays and Wendy Vitter both have decades of legal and trial experience that make them excellent choices for these positions,” said Dr. Cassidy. “They are part of an outstanding group of individuals that President Trump has nominated to the federal bench, and I look forward to the Senate considering their nominations in the days ahead.”

“I am thankful for President Trump’s swift work on judgeship appointments across Louisiana. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I look forward to a thoughtful discussion with the nominees about their legal backgrounds, philosophies and approaches to constitutional principles. Mrs. Vitter has done very important work as a prosecutor and as legal counsel for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Judge Summerhays is a respected member of the bench with lengthy experience overseeing legal cases,” said Kennedy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Judge Robert Summerhays serves as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Louisiana and recently completed an eight-year term as Chief Bankruptcy Judge. Prior to assuming the bench in 2006, Judge Summerhays was a partner in the Dallas office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where his practice focused on commercial, corporate, multidistrict, and securities litigation. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Summerhays served as a law clerk to Judge W. Eugene Davis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Judge Summerhays earned his B.A., with high honors, from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He also earned his J.D., with high honors, from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and served as an associate editor of the Texas Law Review.

Wendy Vitter serves as General Counsel of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  She previously served in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, beginning as a law clerk and ultimately rising to chief of the Felony Trials Division.  During that period, she focused on homicide prosecutions and litigated over 100 jury trials.  Previously, Ms. Vitter practiced maritime and complex litigation at a boutique firm.  She is also involved in her community and recently concluded a three-year term as President of the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans Board of Directors.  Ms. Vitter earned her B.A. from Sam Houston State University, and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School.