WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 2016, Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement in response to today’s nomination of Northern District of Alabama Judge Abdul K. Kallon to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals:

Judge Kallon’s nomination is a victory for Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit, and the entire federal justice system. With five vacancies, Alabama has been hit especially hard by the nationwide judicial vacancy crisis, and Judge Kallon would fill a judicial emergency that’s been vacant for over two years.

This is also a historic nomination to a court that for too long has lacked the diversity of the people it serves. The Eleventh Circuit, comprised of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, has the highest percentage of African-American residents of any circuit in the country. Yet Judge Kallon would be the first African American from Alabama on the Eleventh Circuit, and only the third African American ever to serve on the court. In fact, the Eleventh Circuit has the same number of African American judges now—one—that it had at its creation over 30 years ago.

In 2009, Judge Kallon, supported by both Senators Richard Selby and Jeff Sessions, was unanimously confirmed to his current seat in the Northern District of Alabama. This year, we expect his swift elevation and confirmation to this critically important seat.