Sunday, November 17, 2013

Conyers Presses Senate Republicans to Call Off Their Judicial Blockade and Confirm Judge Robert Wilkins

(WASHINGTON) – This Monday, the United States Senate will consider the nomination of Judge Robert L. Wilkins to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Over the course of the last month, Senate Republicans have derailed the nominations of two other well-qualified appointees to the same court, considered the second highest in the land, leaving three vacancies in place. In light of the upcoming vote, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:
U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“Judge Wilkins has proven throughout his career that he is both well-suited for the nomination and highly qualified to be appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Judge Wilkins clerked for the Honorable Earl B. Gillian of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. He went on to serve as an attorney and head of Special Litigation for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and later worked in private practice at Venable LLP. Having litigated numerous cases that have resulted in landmark decisions for civil rights efforts, he has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to justice. The D.C. Circuit Court would benefit immensely from his confirmation,” said Conyers.

“Over the course of the past month, Senate Republicans have engaged in a number of judicial filibusters, based on unfounded opposition to President Obama’s nominees.  Such divisive partisanship only hinders this essential Court from fulfilling its duty to the public and prohibits President Obama from performing his constitutional duty to fill the Court’s vacant seats.  Last month, Patricia Millett’s nomination was blocked along strict party lines, falling five votes short of invoking cloture. Days ago, Cornelia ‘Nina’ Pillard’s nomination was similarly blocked, falling only four votes short of the threshold required to overcome the Republican obstruction.

In the interest of the proficient administration of justice, I urge my Senate colleagues to support the confirmation of Judge Robert Wilkins to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The time has come for the Senate to call a ceasefire in the continuing war fought over our federal appellate courts and converge to find bipartisan support for Judge Wilkins’ nomination.”

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