Editor's note: Montana Attorney General Tim Fox sent this letter, dated Oct. 28, to Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein, respectively the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Dear Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Feinstein:
Lawrence VanDyke served as my solicitor general when I first took office as attorney general in 2013. I worked closely with him on complex, high-stakes litigation and found him to be a lawyer of the highest quality. Lawrence worked on a wide variety of matters ranging from trials to appeals before the Montana Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court. He was a hardworking asset to the team for all the matters he worked on in the office. I was sorry to see him go.
Lawrence is a rooted westerner who will bring many talents and needed perspectives to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He will be a great addition to a court that plays a critical role in much of Montana’s litigation. On a personal level, I know Lawrence has the character needed to serve as a great, fair and impartial judge. Lawrence and his family were my neighbors while he worked for my office, and our two families frequently socialized together. I witnessed Lawrence to be a loving and supportive father and husband. He is a man of high character and dependability.
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Lawrence’s legal research and legal writing skills are of the highest professional caliber, and his command of legal precedent, statutory law, and rules of procedure is extraordinary. He is thoughtful, thorough, engaging and even-tempered. I have practiced law for 32 years and Lawrence is one of the most legally and professionally competent lawyers I have had the pleasure of working with or against.
Montanans and everyone else in the Ninth Circuit will benefit from Lawrence’s service. I am grateful to President Trump for nominating him, and urge his confirmation to the United States Court of Appeals for the Night Circuit. Thank you for your consideration.