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Prof. Stephanos Bibas confirmed by Senate, will join U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

November 02, 2017

Today, the United States Senate confirmed Stephanos Bibas, Professor of Law and Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Director of Penn Law’s Supreme Court Clinic, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Bibas was nominated for the seat by President Trump in June.

“We are incredibly proud that Stephanos Bibas has been confirmed to serve on the Third Circuit,” said Ted Ruger, Dean of the Law School and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “He possesses all the skills to excel on the federal bench: he is a deeply insightful legal scholar, an accomplished appellate advocate, and an outstanding teacher. The Third Circuit will be adding an exceptional jurist to its ranks.”

The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously rated Bibas “Well Qualified” as a judicial nominee, their highest ranking. Upon his nomination, more than 100 law professors from across the country, 55 of Bibas’ colleagues on the Penn Law faculty, and dozens of his former law students wrote the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing their support for his nomination.

Bibas, a noted scholar of criminal procedure, has argued multiple times in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and is a former federal prosecutor. At Penn Law, he teaches courses on criminal procedure and directs Law School’s Supreme Court Clinic, where students have the opportunity to work on real Supreme Court cases. Bibas is the author of The Machinery of Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Rebooting Justice: More Technology, Fewer Lawyers, and the Future of Law (with Benjamin H. Barton, Encounter Books, 2017).

In the 2010 Supreme Court case Padilla v. Kentucky, Bibas and his co-counsel successfully persuaded the Court that noncitizen defendants had the right to accurate information about deportation before they plead guilty. In 2014, he and the Supreme Court Clinic also secured the right of the heir to the author of the screenplay Raging Bull to pursue claims against MGM Studios in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Prior to joining the Penn Law faculty, Bibas served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted narcotics, robbery, fraud, and other cases.

He received a BA from Columbia University in 1989, a BA from the University of Oxford in 1991, a JD from Yale Law School in 1994, and an honorary MA from Oxford in 1998. Following his graduation from Yale Law, he served as a law clerk to Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court.

Bibas, a married father of four, is the son of a Greek immigrant; his father emigrated to the U.S. from Greece in 1959, becoming a citizen in 1962, and Bibas’ mother is the daughter and granddaughter of Greek immigrants. He joins several other judges with connections to Penn Law who currently sit on the Third Circuit. Senior Judge Dolores Korman Sloviter L’56 and Judge Patty Shwartz L’86 are Penn Law graduates, Judge Kent A. Jordan and Judge Cheryl Krause are current adjunct professors of law, Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo C’81 is a recent adjunct professor of law, and Senior Judge Anthony Scirica is a Senior Fellow at the Law School.