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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tell The Senate Judiciary Committee To Confirm Two Openly Gay Judicial Nominees

Targeting: Sen. Pat Leahy (VT), Sen. Charles Grassley (IA), Sen. Herb Kohl (WI), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA), Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT), Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), Sen. Dick Durbin (IL), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sen. Mike Lee (UT), Sen. Al Franken (MN), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN), Sen. John Cornyn (TX), and Sen. Tom Coburn (OK)
Started by: Asher Huey
President Obama has nominated two openly gay men to federal courts. If confirmed, J. Paul Oetken and Edward C. DuMont would become the first openly gay men to serve on the federal bench. Oketen, who has been nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York , has incredible credentials. He holds a law degree from Yale Law School and is currently a senior vice president and associate general counsel at Cablevision.  Prior to Cablevision, he clerked for a federal district court, a federal appeals court and for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, worked for the Justice Department and the White House counsel’s office and worked in private practice for four of years. Dumont, who has been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, has equally impressive credentials. DuMont has a J.D. from Stanford Law School, he has been with the law firm WilmerHale since 2002. He also served as a clerk on the 7th circuit court of appeals and as Assistant to the Solicitor General, where he tried 18 cases before the United States Supreme Court.  With qualifications like these, one would hope they would have a smooth confirmation.

The plain fact is, Oetken and DuMont are exceptionally qualified. But just like other historic barrier-breaking nominees, there will likely be some opposition to these nominations.  Opposition to the nomination will not based on reason or rationality; it will solely be homophobia. And homophobia should not be the reason Oetken and DuMont are not confirmed to the bench. If they receive votes in the Senate, they will likely be confirmed.  The Senate judiciary committee should commit to holding fair and speedy hearings, focusing on Oetken and DuMont’s legal qualifications, not their personal lives. Be sure to sign the petition and let the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee know that we support these nominations.

petition text -

Dear Senator,,
I am writing to express my excitement for the judicial nominations of J. Paul Oetken and Edward C. DuMont. Both are exceptionally qualified lawyers and deserve speedy and fair hearings.

The Senate has only confirmed approximately 40% of President Obama's nominees. While this number suggests a bigger problem with the Senate, I would like to specifically voice my concern about Oetken and DuMont.

Both these men have long distinguished legal careers and meet every requirement and standard to be a judge. There should be no question about their abilities to serve with impartiality and distinction. The hearings should happen with in a dignified manner and in a timely fashion. The hearings should focus on legal qualifications rather than personal lives.

Thank you,
[Your name]
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