This evening the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Robert Wilkins to be on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Wilkins was a public defender for years as well as a graduate of Harvard Law. Senate Democrats have confirmed a steady stream of nominees after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid implemented the “nuclear option” to break filibusters. As a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, Wilkins will now be one of the most powerful arbiters of justice on important federal cases.
In a statement tonight after Wilkins was confirmed, President Obama wrote that, “Judge Wilkins spent a decade as a public defender, providing legal representation to individuals who could not afford an attorney, as well as eight years in private practice. His accomplishments outside the courtroom include helping to establish the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.”
“Because of the time of year, it’s tempting to say that with the confirmation of Judge Wilkins the Senate has given us a belated holiday gift by confirming all three of President Obama’s supremely qualified nominees for the D.C. Circuit. But a fully functioning judiciary is not a gift – it is a basic right,” said Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron.