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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

EXECUTIVE SESSION -- (Senate - November 13, 2007)


Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, I rise to express my support for the confirmation of Robert M. Dow, Jr. to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

I am very pleased that this nomination has continued the bipartisan approach to filling judgeships in the Federal district courts--an approach that has served Illinois well.

Mr. Dow has an impressive record of professional achievement and an admirable commitment to public service. He has demonstrated fairness, decency, integrity, and a strong personal character that I expect will benefit the people of Illinois and all those with cases before the Northern District.

Most recently, Mr. Dow was a partner at the Chicago law firm of Mayer Brown. He earned his B.A. from Yale University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1987, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1993. Mr. Dow was also a Rhodes Scholar who received degrees in international relations from Oxford University.

Mr. Dow has also distinguished himself in his professional career, where he has received a number of honors and accolades. Mr. Dow has been named a ``leading lawyer'' 5 years in a row by Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Business Lawyers. He has been listed the past 2 years as an Illinois Super Lawyer in appellate law, and by the Best Lawyers in America in communications law. Mr. Dow also received an award for excellence in undergraduate teaching when he served as a teaching fellow at Harvard University.

Importantly, Mr. Dow has also been an engaged member of the Chicago community. In 2003, he served as a fellow for Leadership Greater Chicago, which stresses the development of community awareness and partnerships among leaders in the city. He is also an active member in a number of legal and academic associations as well as in his church.

Finally, Mr. Dow has a track record of personal commitment to pro bono service. Early in his career, he provided aid and advice to nonprofit organizations and a local court. Over the years, Mr. Dow has volunteered hundreds of hours to pro bono service, and continues to do so. He recently earned his firm's annual pro bono award. This kind of public service is essential to our legal system. When legal professionals provide voluntary expert legal counsel to those who cannot afford it, it shores up the integrity of our Nation's justice system.

It is good news for Illinois that Robert Dow will be joining the district court. I thank him in advance for his service and congratulate him on his confirmation today.


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