Alexander: Mark Norris Has Been a Superior Citizen, Lawyer and Legislator

Posted on January 11, 2019

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MEMPHIS, Tenn., January 11, 2019 -- United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today spoke at the investiture of Mark Norris as U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee in Memphis, calling Norris, “an advocate and a champion for federalism and for the separation of powers.”

“I recommended Mark to the president, and I strongly supported his nomination,” Alexander said. “Mark is respected by his peers around the country, having been elected chairman of the Council of State Governments, and has been a champion for federalism and for the separation of powers. He has been a superior citizen, lawyer and legislator.

“He is a graduate of Colorado College and the University of Denver College of Law, but he has lived in West Tennessee since 1980. He was the majority leader of our state Senate, a position he had for 10 years. He was first elected to the Senate in 2000, having previously been on the Shelby County Board of Commissioners. In addition to his public service, he worked as Special Counsel in the Memphis office of Adams and Reese.

“I have known Mark for many years -- since I was the governor of Tennessee, and I know he will be a great asset to the federal bench. Tennessee is fortunate President Trump chose to nominate him.”

Alexander introduced Norris at his confirmation hearing on November 1, 2017, before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee saying he strongly supported Norris’ nomination. After President Trump announced Norris’ nomination on July 13, 2017, Alexander said, “Tennessee will be well-served by a man of such good character and good temperament.” Norris was confirmed by the Senate on October 10, 2018.

Alexander also spoke on the history of the Western District of Tennessee. “At the beginning of the state’s history, there was just one federal district judge for the entire state. Memphis was founded in 1819 by Andrew Jackson, John Overton and James Winchester, and then finally, in 1878, the first-ever judgeship was authorized for what we call today the Western District of Tennessee. Today, there are five permanent judgeships and four magistrate judgeships for the Western District. As all courts do for their jurisdictions, for 140 years, this Western District of Tennessee Court has reflected the colorful history of this Bluff City on the Mississippi River --- riverboat tragedies, and controversies over cotton, music and civil rights.”

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Lamar Alexander is the senior senator from Tennessee, and he serves as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. For his full biography, click here.