January 31, 2013
Harkin Welcomes White House Nomination of Jane Kelly for Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement upon learning that the White House had formally nominated Jane Kelly as U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Kelly, who has served since 1994 as a federal defender in the Northern District of Iowa, was recommended by Harkin to the White House in late 2012 to replace Judge Michael Melloy. Her nomination will now be sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will need to approve it before being considered by the full U.S. Senate.
“Jane Kelly has spent her career working on behalf of the most underprivileged in society and has fought tirelessly to ensure the rights of all Iowans are protected,” said Harkin. “She has a reputation as an extremely talented lawyer with a great sense of compassion and fairness. It was a privilege to recommend her to the White House and, now that she has been formally nominated, an honor on behalf of Iowans.
“Federal judges play a crucial role in our judicial system, ensuring the rule of law, promoting justice, and protecting critical constitutional values,” he continued. “I take my constitutional role of providing recommendations on this nomination very seriously and, in this process, have carefully reviewed the records qualifications of many outstanding judges and attorneys in Iowa. Jane Kelly was among the top in her field. I now look forward to working with my colleague Senator Grassley to move her nomination through the Senate.”
Ms. Kelly is a 1987 graduate of Duke University and a 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School. After law school, she was a law clerk to Judge Donald Porter of the Federal District Court of South Dakota and Judge David Hansen of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. After her clerkship, in 1994, Ms. Kelly became an assistant federal defender in the Northern District of Iowa, in Cedar Rapids. She has been there since. If confirmed, Ms. Kelly would be only the second female judge in the history of the Eighth Circuit, which was established in 1891.