WASHINGTON, DC - The National Bar Association (NBA) has called for the nomination of the first African American female Supreme Court Justice, after last week's announcement of Justice John Paul Stevens' retirement from the United States Supreme Court.
In adhering to its mission of advancing diversity within the legal profession, the NBA has put forth the nomination of a notable candidate, the Honorable Ann Claire Williams. Williams is the first African American ever appointed to the Seventh Circuit and the third African American woman ever to serve on any United States Court of Appeals.
In a letter written to President Barack Obama, the NBA noted that as "a moderate and faithful adherent to constitutional principles of government, Judge Williams is extremely well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and has all the necessary experience and the professional expertise to succeed Justice Stevens." Williams, an active NBA member, has been a leader and long-standing public servant. She was a recipient of the NBA's William H. Hastie Award and recipient of its Gertrude E. Rush Award, named in honor of the sole female founder of the NBA.
NBA President Mavis T. Thompson noted that "Justice Stevens' retirement creates the opportunity for the country to have its first African American female Supreme Court Justice. As was the case with Justice Stevens, his replacement must have the highest integrity, be undoubtedly very well qualified, have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to equal justice under the law and possess appropriate judicial temperament."
Consistent with the NBA's historic mission and its leadership role on behalf of over 44,000 of the nation's African American lawyers, judges and academics, the NBA is committed to playing an active role in the process to fill the vacancy created by Justice Stevens' retirement. The NBA strongly urges President Obama to use this upcoming vacancy as an opportunity to further diversify the high court and to make it more reflective of the nation it serves. Without question, at this critical juncture in the nation's history and with so many important legal issues to come before the United States Supreme Court, Judge Ann Claire Williams is the right person to succeed Justice Stevens.
Founded in 1925, the National Bar Association is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominately African American attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 44,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visitWWW.NATIONALBAR.ORG.
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