Victor Williams' American Journey from Hardscrabble Arkansas to Harvard, California-Hastings Law, Columbia Law, George Mason-Antonin Scalia Law
Victor Williams believes deeply that equal opportunity, free enterprise, and fair competition are foundations of the American economic and political system. It is the American way.
Victor's life has been proof of that American way.
As he introduces himself to students on the first class of the term:
“I grew up in LA --lower Arkansas.”
Pine Bluff, Arkansas was one those places in the forgotten south where systemic poverty was too often trans-generational. Perhaps "hardscrabble" is the kindest description of Victor’s Arkansas years.
His parents had also been raised in Arkansas poverty. Extreme personal tragedies and just bad luck (best not described here) kept them trapped in that poverty. Their siblings were far more fortunate.Victor's family lived off one of his parent's minimum wage job.
Victor is pictured standing at the side of his grandmother's wheelchair. His father is in the back row, far right. Victor's mother and older sister are seated in the front center.
His parents had a strong Christian faith that fostered as positive a view of life as was possible given their circumstances. They were uniquely, exceptionally gentle people ("too gentle for this world," Victor often says).
Victor’s parents instilled a belief that he could capture the American dream through hard work and education.
Victor lied about his age to get his first job at the Pulley Bone Drive In. He made $1.20 a hour with 30 cents deducted each hour for what he might eat. And boy did he eat!
Later in high school, he was grateful to land jobs with the Kroger and Safeway grocery chains.
(Notice Victor's gravitation towards employment involving available food to better understand his Arkansas background.)
Special note to any oppo-research and all old Arkansas friends: Victor Keith Williams went by his middle name -- Keith -- until his Harvard days.
Victor has always sought educational opportunities. (Arkansas relatives still joke that he will never finish his schooling.)
He was a first-generation college graduate with a B.A. earned from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.
(Victor was at Ouachita Baptist a few years after former Gov. Mike Huckabee and several years before the exceptionally-talented Sarah Huckabee Sanders.)
Victor then left the state to earn a M.A.T. with a teaching credential from the National College of Education in Evanston, Illinois.
Only by grace was Victor then blessed with a scholarship to earn a M.Ed. degree from Harvard University with most of his coursework taken at the Kennedy School of Government.
Paying off student loans, Victor then taught at both public and parochial schools.
Having been encouraged by Harvard professors to go to law school, Victor went on to eventually earn three law degrees. (And after four years teaching sixth grade, law school was a breeze.)
Victor first traveled to California to make himself a Californian for tuition and admission purposes while teaching at Catholic high school in southern California.
At the University of California-Hasting College of the Law, he was an Articles Editor of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and a National Editor of the Federalist Society's Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.
For the three years of his J.D. program, Victor was student head of both the Hastings Republicans Club and Hastings Federalist Society Chapter.
(Yes, presidential candidate Kamala Harris also graduated with a J.D. from California-Hastings. Sen. Harris graduated Hastings one year before Victor did. He jokes that he doesn’t remember seeing her at any Federalist Society or Republican Club meetings. Likely, her absence was just the difference in their class years.)
Victor then extended/clerked for three federal judges: US Ninth Circuit Judge Joseph Sneed; US Eleventh Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat; and lastly with US District Judge William Brevard Hand of Mobile, Alabama.
Each conservative jurist encouraged Victor to break into the leftist academy to teach law. He did so immediately after his district court clerkship.
Victor Williams has since held three prominent faculty appointments teaching law and government: A tenured position with City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice; then with Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law; and most recently with University of Maryland's Carey School of Law.
As he taught law at CUNY's John Jay College in New York City, Victor completed an L.LM. degree in International/Comparative law from Columbia University School of Law.
While Victor taught law at Catholic University, while living the first time in Arlington, he completed an LL.M. degree in Law & Economics from George Mason University's Antonin Scalia School of Law.
He has been a frequent media guest, an opinion writer, and a prolific scholar.
With a particular focus, Victor has supported the Article II, Section 2 constitutional appointment authority – including recess appointment power -- of the past four presidents -- without regard to their party.
Democrat elites criticized him for supporting Bush 43 and Trump appointments just as Republican elites harshly criticized him for supporting Obama’s personnel choices.
Victor has been consistent in his belief than a president should exercise both fulsome traditional and frequent recess appointment powers to insure that the law is "faithfully executed."
And he now campaigns for the US Senate from Virginia arguing that President Trump should be allowed his recess appointment powers by Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell by adjourning for the requisite 10-days (without pro-forma sham sessions held every three days).
Why is the GOP Senate hobbling President Trump's legitimate appointment authority?