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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Abdul K. Kallon

Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Returned to President January 3, 2017

President Obama nominated U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Feb. 11, 2016.

Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) blocked a hearing on Judge Kallon's Circuit Court nomination by refusing to submit the blue slips that are required from each home-state Senator, and the nomination was returned to the President. Previously, Sens. Sessions and Shelby supported Abdul Kallon's Senate confirmation to the district court by unanimous consent on Nov. 21, 2009.

Sens. Sessions and Shelby's position was in stark contrast to many fellow Republican Senators who worked with the Obama White House and filled all court vacancies in their states and those who continued to do so throughout 2016:

Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (Sept. 13, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Wisconsin) 09/13/16 
Including all 16 Republican senators with nominees on the Senate Floor. Excerpts and links to Senator statements by state

These Republican Senators Want Their Judicial Nominees Confirmed. Majority Leader McConnell Isn’t Listening. (Medium, 08/04/16)
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Sens. Sessions & Shelby joint statement on 11th Circuit nomination of Judge Kallon
(Republican - Alabama) 02/11/16 
"Throughout the process of meeting with the White House on filling judicial vacancies, we negotiated in good faith to find nominees that will serve our state well," they said. "While we thought progress had been made, apparently the White House was never interested in good faith negotiations, and it is too late now."

(Republican - Alabama) 11/04/09 
"I am pleased to introduce Mr. Abdul Kallon, who's been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. He's had a distinguished law career.... Mr. Kallon clerked for Judge U.W. Clemon, Chief Judge of the Northern District of Alabama, who I see here with him in support, I know, of Mr. Kallon. So, that's the same court for which he's being considered today. I'm sure Judge Clemon is pleased to have someone of his caliber replacing him on the bench. Following his clerkship, Mr. Kallon joined the law firm of Bradley, Arent, Bolt, Cummings in Birmingham, which I suppose they would say was a premier law firm in the State, certainly it was the biggest law firm in the State for many years, and I guess that it still is. ... He received some impressive accolades for his work. In both 2007 and 2008, he was listed in the Best Lawyers in America for Labor and Employment Law, and in each of the last 3 years was listed in Chamber's U.S.A. America's Leading Lawyers for Labor and Employment Law. In addition to his impressive legal credentials, he's been active and dedicated to the community. For the past 9 years he's worked closely with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He's also been a member of the board of directors of Children's Village since 2004, and the board of directors of Girls, Inc. of Central Alabama since 2007. Mr. Chairman, I talked to a number of lawyers in the Birmingham area who know Mr. Kallon and they all speak universally very highly of his integrity and judgment and legal ability."

Sens. Sessions and Shelby support Abdul Kallon's Northern District of Alabama nomination at Judiciary Committee hearing
(Republican - Alabama) 11/04/09 
Sen. Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy: "All of the judicial nominees appearing before the Committee today are from the home State of members of this Committee. We welcome Abdul Kallon, who has been nominated to serve in the Northern District of Alabama, the home State of the Committee's Ranking Member, Senator Sessions. His nomination also has the support of Senator Shelby."

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