Chairman Richard Durbin
Ranking Member Charles Grassley
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-6050
Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley:
We write on behalf of the AFL-CIO to strongly urge a yes vote on the confirmation of Carolyn Lerner to serve on the U.S. Court of Claims.
Ms. Lerner is the former Senate-confirmed head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). At OSC, she worked tirelessly to defend the rights of whistleblowers in the federal government. She successfully worked with Congress to pass important reform legislation, including the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and the Hatch Act Modernization Act. While at OSC, Ms. Lerner was widely-respected across the partisan divide, winning praise from federal employee unions and Senator Charles Grassley alike.
Since leaving OSC, Lerner has worked in the federal judicial system as the head of the Mediation Program for the federal courts in the D.C. Circuit and serves as the Court’s Workplace Relations Coordinator. Prior to her government service, Lerner was a founding partner of a civil rights and employment law firm, Heller, Huron, Chertkof, Lerner, Simon & Salzman. At the firm, she did exemplary work defending the rights of federal employees and also served as the federal court-appointed Special Master in a sexual harassment and retaliation class action.
Finally, Lerner has distinguished academic credentials having been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University Law School and received her J.D. from NYU School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden public interest scholar.
Ms. Lerner’s extraordinary experience makes her uniquely qualified to hear claims against the United States and fairly and wisely weigh the arguments of the government and the claimants. In addition, having represented individual working people, she would bring an important form of diversity to the bench – diversity of experience.
We urge a yes vote on Ms. Lerner.
Director, Government Affairs