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A group of law professors and administrators are rallying behind the stalled nomination of University of Wisconsin Law Professor Victoria Nourse to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. In a letter sent to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on July 14, 51 law deans and professors urged the committee to vote on Nourse’s nomination. President Obama first nominated Nourse on July 14, 2010, and nominated her again on January 5. The letter notes that the seat on the 7th Circuit has been vacant for nearly two years, and that there has been “no public opposition to her nomination.” Obama has been criticized for taking too long to nominate judges, while the Senate has been accused of dragging its feet in the confirmation process for many nominees. “Purely as a matter of process, this delay raises serious questions about whether the Senate is fulfilling its constitutional role to provide the President’s nominees with a prompt hearing and full Senate vote,” the academics wrote. They included Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer, Georgetown University Law Center Dean William Treanor and Yale Law School professor Amy Chua. Nourse’s nomination has been held up by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who was elected in 2010. Johnson has argued that Nourse’s nomination expired in 2010 when the Senate declined to hear it. Additionally, Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in June she lacks deep connections to the state’s legal community. The legal academics lauded Nourse’s qualifications in their letter, citing her work in the academy and on behalf of both Democrats and Republicans. Nourse has been on the faculty at Wisconsin since 1993. “For a single senator from one state within the Circuit to assert a hold, months after a nomination was complete, undermines Wisconsin’s merit-based selection system, blocking highly qualified nominees from a hearing and a vote,” the academics wrote. Karen Sloan can be contacted at [email protected] .

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