The Honorable Richard Durbin, Chairman
The Honorable Charles Grassley, Ranking Member
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley:
On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I urge you to strongly support the confirmation of Candace Jackson-Akiwumi for the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Ms. Jackson Akiwumi is eminently qualified for the position, and, if confirmed, will continue in her demonstrated commitment to equal justice under the law.
Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi will bring much needed experiential diversity to the federal bench, as she is one of very few nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals with vast experience as a public defender. She served for 10 years in that role in Chicago, representing over 400 indigent clients at trial and on appeal. She also gained significant experience in complex civil litigation and criminal law through her work as a litigator in the private sector during which she maintained an active pro bono practice.
The federal bench is sorely lacking in demographic diversity. To date, only eight African American women have served as federal appellate judges. If confirmed, Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi will be only the second African-American woman ever to serve on the Seventh Circuit, and significantly, to our dismay she will be the only person of color on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Circuit at this time.
Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi has a stellar record. The AFL-CIO urges her prompt confirmation.
Director, Government Affairs