WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke in support of the nomination of Tiffany P. Cunningham, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit, ahead of her cloture vote on the Senate floor. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin highlighted that Ms. Cunningham will bring much-needed diversity to the bench as well as impeccable credentials. The Senate voted to advance Ms. Cunningham’s nomination by a bipartisan vote of 63-34. Her confirmation is expected early next week.

“This is truly historic. Once confirmed, Ms. Cunningham will be the first, the very first African American judge to serve on the Federal Circuit. She’ll not only bring diversity but an amazing set of credentials to the job,” Durbin said. “Her deep knowledge of patent law and 20 years of experience as an intellectual property litigator earned her a unanimous rating of ‘Well Qualified’ from the American Bar Association. She received broad bipartisan support in my Committee with five Republicans joining all Democrats in voting to advance her. As judge on the Federal Circuit, Ms. Cunningham will offer a perspective shaped by personal and professional experience that reflect the diversity of our nation. Given her years of experience working on issues germane to the Federal Circuit, she’ll be ready upon confirmation to hit the ground running.”

Durbin concluded, “At the end of her hearing, I said to her, ‘why do you want to do this? Why would you go into public life? It seems like things are going pretty well for you as a lawyer.’ She says, ‘it’s always been my dream to serve on this bench.’ I hope her dream comes true and the Senate helps her reach it. I urge my colleagues to join me in confirming Ms. Cunningham’s nomination.”

Last month, Ms. Cunningham was voted out of Committee on a bipartisan vote of 16-6.

Video of Durbin’s statement on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s statement on the Senate floor is available here.

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