The Honorable Richard Durbin, Chairman
The Honorable Charles Grassley, Ranking Member
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley:
I write on behalf of the AFL-CIO to urge you to vote for confirmation of Tiffany Cunningham to be a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Ms. Cunningham’s stellar credentials and decades of intellectual property litigation make her superbly qualified for a lifetime appointment to this specialized court.
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has a unique role among the Circuit Courts of Appeal because it has nationwide jurisdiction over patent, trademark, and international trade cases. The significance of these issues has become increasingly apparent as the global COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to resolve complex intellectual property disputes. Decisions rendered by this Court affect our everyday lives, and will continue to do so as new technologies and products develop that are needed for the common good.
While most of this Court’s docket involves intellectual property, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit also has unique nationwide jurisdiction over critical subject areas that affect particular workers. Cases involving federal personnel, veterans’ and public safety officers’ benefits, and certain financial claims against the federal government are a significant part of this Court non-IP docket, and we are confident that Ms. Cunningham will be a fair-minded and thoughtful judge for those cases, as well.
Ms. Cunningham is a trained chemical engineer and a registered patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office who has represented individuals, small businesses and corporations in complex trade and patent disputes for decades. She clerked for Judge Timothy Dyk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at the beginning of her career and since then she has been nationally recognized for her professional expertise. If confirmed, Ms. Cunningham will be one of the relatively few judges on this court with a technical background and the first African-American ever to serve as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The AFL-CIO believes Ms. Cunningham is extraordinarily well-prepared to serve as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and should be swiftly confirmed.
Director, Government Affairs