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Mr. KOHL. Madam President, I rise to today in support of Louis Butler's nomination to be District Court Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin. Justice Butler is an accomplished lawyer whose career has been distinguished across the board as an advocate, trial court judge, Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, and professor. He is supported throughout Wisconsin and I am confident that he will be an excellent Federal judge.
For 30 years, Justice Butler has dedicated himself to public service. He began his career fighting for the rights of indigent defendants as a public defender. He was the first public defender in Wisconsin history to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
As a trial court judge, he earned a reputation for being a tough but fair jurist and was recognized as a top Milwaukee judge. For more than 10 years, Justice Butler has shared his expertise and knowledge by training judges as a faculty member of the National Judicial College.
Justice Butler served with distinction on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for 4 years. There, he participated in hundreds of cases, many of, which were decided by a unanimous or near-unanimous court. During his 4 years on the bench, he proved himself to be a hard-working, thoughtful and consensus building jurist.
Throughout his career, Justice Butler has been a judge who upholds the rule of law in an impartial and deeply respectful manner. He possesses all the best qualities that we look for in a judge: intelligence, diligence, humility, and integrity. In addition to Justice Butler's impressive legal background and solid record as a judge, he is a fine man. He is deeply committed to his family, to his community, and to public service.
Justice Butler's nomination proves once again that the process we use in Wisconsin to choose federal judges and U.S. attorneys ensures excellence. The Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission has been used to select Federal judges and U.S. attorneys in Wisconsin for 30 years, through Republican and Democratic administrations and the tenure of Senators from both parties. Through a great deal of cooperation and careful consideration, and by keeping politics to a minimum, we always find highly qualified candidates like Justice Butler.
I along with Senator Feingold are confident that the people of Wisconsin will be enormously proud of him and that he will serve them well.
So, it is clear that this upstanding and well-qualified nominee should be promptly considered by the Senate. Justice Butler has been pending for far too long and a vote on his confirmation is overdue. Someone like this deserves an up or down vote. I understand that some of my colleagues may oppose his nomination, and I accept that, but let us take an up or down vote as soon as possible.
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