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This article may not meet the general notability guideline. Please help to establish notability by adding reliable, secondary sources about the topic. If notability cannot be established, the article is likely to be merged, redirected, or deleted. (May 2009) Steve A. Matthews (born 1955 in Columbia, South Carolina) is an American lawyer and unsuccessful nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Contents 1 Background 2 Fourth Circuit nomination under Bush 3 Sources 4 See also 5 References // Background Matthews received his B.A. in History from the University of South Carolina, graduating magna cum laude in 1977. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980. During his time at the University of South Carolina, Mr. Matthews completed a semester at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England. After law school, Matthews briefly worked at the law firm of Boyd, Knowlton, Tate & Finlay (now Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A.). In 1981, he began work at the firm of Dewey Ballantine in Washington, D.C., where he practiced corporate law for five years. Matthews left Dewey Ballantine in 1985 to work at the Department of Justice under Attorney General Edwin Meese. During his three years at the Justice Department, Matthews served as the Special Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights (1985-6), Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Judicial Selection (1986-8), Special Assistant to Attorney General Meese for Iran-Contra Matters (1987), and Executive Assistant to Attorney General Meese (1988). Matthews’ duties included advising President Reagan and the Attorney General on federal judicial nominees, and later in his tenure Matthews provided legal advice to the Attorney General when he was investigated for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. While at the Justice Department, Matthews also worked with Fred Fielding, the future White House Counsel under George W. Bush, who was then counsel to President Ronald Reagan. In 1988, Matthews returned to South Carolina to join the firm of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd. Matthews served as Co-Managing Director of his firm from 2001 to 2004, and was the Managing Director from 2004 to 2008. His areas of practice include Intellectual Property, Business and Commercial Litigation. Fourth Circuit nomination under Bush On September 6, 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Matthews to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated by Judge William Walter Wilkins, who had taken senior status on July 1, 2007. Although he had the support of South Carolina's two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, Matthews ran into immediate opposition from Senate Democrats and liberal groups such as People for the American Way and the Alliance for Justice. There were concerns over Matthews' conservative political connections. The People for the American Way did not like the close connection he had with several in President Ronald Reagan's administration, in particular Assistant Attorney General William Bradford Reynolds, whom the group accused of being "notable for his efforts to undermine civil rights enforcement." In a memo to Reynolds analyzing proposed language from the Federal Highway Administrator for a "revised procurement preference for 'disadvantaged business enterprises' in highway construction contracts," Matthews wrote that contracting set-asides, "when tied to particular racial groups, are discriminatory and wrong." Also in his capacity as Special Counsel to Reynolds, Matthews wrote a confidential memorandum to the Department's Honor Program Evaluation Committee concerning the structure of the Honor Program Hiring Committee on which Matthews then served (and blind-copied Reynolds). In that memo, Matthews opposed efforts to ensure racial and gender diversity on the Hiring Committee. According to Matthews, while "a diversity of perspective is critical to the successful work of a hiring committee ... to suggest that the relevant diversity is a function of race and gender involves a stereotype that denies the individuality of particular members of a given race or gender."[1] The Alliance for Justice did not like the connection Matthews had with the Federalist Society and the Landmark Legal Foundation.[2] During the 110th Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy D-VT, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, refused to schedule a hearing for Matthews. Sources Resume from the Department of Justice Biography from Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd Biography from the American College of Bond Counsel Alliance for Justice Report on Steve A. Matthews See also George W. Bush judicial appointment controversies References ^ ^ Persondata Name Matthews, Steve A. Alternative names Short description Date of birth 1955 Place of birth Date of death Place of death