Edward DuMont, Out Gay Appeals Court Nominee, Asks Obama to Withdraw His Nomination

Posted by Chris Geidner
November 10, 2011 11:00 AM |

After waiting more than 18 months without even receiving a committee hearing on his nomination, Edward DuMont, a partner at the Wilmer Hale law firm, has asked President Barack Obama to withdraw his nomination to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

dumont.jpgAs reported at Patently-O -- and earlier at law.com -- DuMont submitted a letter to the president on Nov. 4 asking that his nomination be withdrawn.

DuMont came to the nomination to the specialty court, which primarily hears appeals on patent matters and cases from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, with stellar qualifications and was deemed "unanimously well qualified" by the American Bar Association. A former law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, DuMont would have been the first out gay appellate judge in the country.

Despite DuMont's qualifications, he never received a hearing on his nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democratic committee spokespeople have said that Republicans had held up the nomination, although Republican committee spokespeople pointed out that the chairman of the committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) could call for a hearing on the nomination at any time.

In his letter to Obama, DuMont wrote, "Under these circumstances, drawing the process out further does not seem either sensible for me or fair to the Federal Circuit, which has important work to do and deserves to be able to address it with a full complement of active judges."

Back when DuMont was first nominated by Obama in April 2010, Seth Waxman, who served as the top appellate litigator in the Justice Department during Clinton's second term, called DuMont "brilliant" and "thoroughly professional."

DuMont's nomination is yet to be formally withdrawn, and a White House spokesman did not respond to an immediate request for comment.

DuMont was unavailable for comment.

Read DuMont's letter: DuMontwithdrawal letter 11-4-11.PDF

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