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Public Statements

Tax Extenders Act Of 2009 - Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, it is my pleasure to rise in support of William Conley's nomination to be district court judge for the Western District of Wisconsin. If confirmed, Mr. Conley will replace Judge Barbara Crabb, who is taking senior status after more than 30 years of distinguished service on the court.

Bill Conley will make an outstanding addition to the Federal bench. He rose from humble roots in the small town of Rice Lake, WI, to graduate with distinction from the University of Wisconsin. He went on to the law school at UW, graduating cum laude and Order of the Coif. Following law school, he clerked on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Fairchild.

Bill Conley's career has prepared him well to be a Federal judge. He has practiced law for 25 years at the venerable Madison firm of Foley & Lardner. Throughout his career, he has earned a reputation as a skillful lawyer and top-notch litigator. He has represented a variety of national and international companies before State and Federal courts and has served as a mediator and arbitrator and helped parties resolve their disputes outside court.

One of Bill Conley's greatest strengths is his frequent representation of clients before the court to which he has been nominated. From this experience, he has gained a keen understanding of the court as well as the fairness and impartiality the administration of justice requires.

While managing a busy legal practice, Bill Conley has remained committed to using his legal talent for the benefit of the local community. He has devoted hundreds of hours to pro bono legal work, representing refugees, indigent defendants, and others who would otherwise not be able to afford legal representation. He has also been active with the Remington Center for Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin, as well as the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund.

Despite the many hours his work demands, Bill Conley makes time for his family and is a devoted husband, father, brother, and son. In sum, he possesses all the best qualities we look for in a judge: legal acumen, diligence, humility, and integrity.

Bill Conley's nomination was the result of the work of the nonpartisan Wisconsin Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. For the past 30 years, Senators from Wisconsin, regardless of party, have used the Commission to select candidates for the Federal bench. This process ensures that a judge's qualifications are always our primary consideration and that politics are kept to a minimum.

Bill Conley's nomination proves, once again, that the process we use in Wisconsin ensures excellence. So it is no surprise that the American Bar Association found him to be ``unanimously well qualified'' and that the Judiciary Committee approved of his nomination without dissent.

When considering nominees for lifetime appointments for the Federal courts, we must satisfy ourselves that these nominees have substantial legal experience, are learned in the law, have the respect of their peers, and, most important of all, will be fair-minded and do justice without predisposition or bias. William Conley's experience and qualifications convince me he well exceeds these requirements.

I am confident Bill Conley will be a Federal judge we can be proud of and that he will serve the people of Wisconsin well.

Thank you very much. I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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