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FL: First African-American Woman Confirmed on Federal Bench

In a first for Florida, an African-American woman has been confirmed to serve on a federal district court. The US Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Marcia Cooke on Tuesday, who is also the first African-American woman to be nominated to serve on a federal court in Florida. Cooke’s confirmation followed shortly after Senate Democrats and the White House reached a deal on judicial nominations. Under the terms of the deal, 25 federal court nominees will receive votes in the full Senate and President Bush will not make any more recess appointments through the end of his current term in office. Cooke, a registered Democrat, was most recently an assistant county attorney in Miami-Dade County, and she previously worked for three years as Inspector General under Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In a statement supporting Cooke’s bipartisan nomination process, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointed out that President Bush has only nominated 16 African Americans to the federal courts. “More than half of President Bush’s circuit court nominees have been involved in Federalist Society activities but only about one-tenth of his circuit court nominees are African American,” Leahy said. Cooke’s nomination was supported by both of Florida’s Democratic Senators. DONATE to stop the right-wing assault on the federal courts

Sources:

Palm Beach Post 5/19/04; Leahy statement 5/18/04; Feminist Majority

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