2018 Georgetown Law Commencement Ceremony To Honor Eleanor Holmes Norton, Merrick Garland

May 4, 2018 —

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has also served as a member of the Georgetown Law faculty, and Judge Merrick B. Garland will each receive honorary degrees at Georgetown Law’s 2018 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20. The honorary degrees will be presented by Georgetown Law Professor Peter Edelman and Professor Neal Katyal. Norton will deliver the Commencement address. View the live webcast.


The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, Commencement speaker and Honorary Degree recipient

The Honorable Merrick B. Garland, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Honorary Degree recipient


Sunday, May 20, 2018

2:00 p.m.


Georgetown University Main Campus

Healy Lawn 

37th and O Streets, NW

Washington, D.C. 20057

(Rain Site: McDonough Arena on Main Campus)


Throughout her career, Eleanor Holmes Norton has played a key role in the national conversation around sexual harassment and equality in the workplace. As a lawyer, public servant and member of Congress, she has worked tirelessly to raise the national consciousness about sex discrimination and harassment in the workplace.  

After graduating from law school at Yale in 1964, Norton became the assistant legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, a position she held until 1970. That year, Congresswoman Norton represented 60 female employees of Newsweek who had filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the publication’s men-only policy for reporters. The women won. 

As head of the New York City Human Rights Commission, Norton held the first hearings in the country on discrimination against women — to raise public awareness about the application of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to women and sex discrimination. In 1988, she was appointed the first woman chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and released the EEOC’s first set of regulations outlining what constituted sexual harassment and declaring that sexual harassment violated federal civil rights laws.

A third-generation Washingtonian, Norton was elected the District of Columbia’s delegate to the United States House of Representatives in 1990. She has worked tirelessly to advocate for full congressional voting representation and for full democracy for the people of the District of Columbia. Despite the lack of a vote, Norton has won significant victories for the people of D.C. At Georgetown Law, she has taught lawmaking and statutory interpretation.

Merrick B. Garland is the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He has served on that court since 1997.

A native of the Chicago area, Judge Garland graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. After serving as a law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States, he practiced litigation at Arnold & Porter.

Fueled by a desire to return to public service, Garland became an Assistant U.S. Attorney and eventually Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice. As a federal prosecutor, Garland's responsibilities included the supervision of high-profile domestic-terrorism cases, including the Oklahoma City bombing and "Unabomber" cases. 

On September 6, 1995, President Clinton nominated Garland to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in March 2016, but the Senate did not hold a hearing or a vote on the nomination. Even in the aftermath of his Supreme Court nomination, Garland has remained committed to serving as a faithful public servant.

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