(Washington, DC) Congresswoman Corrine Brown made the following statement:
“I am thoroughly frustrated that Marco Rubio is continuing to hold up the nomination of a stellar judge from Jacksonville. Judge Brian J. Davis was first nominated by President Obama last February to serve on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Given the court decision made in Florida just last week in the Trayvon Martin case, the desperate need to bring a greater sense of fairness into our courtrooms and to increase the number of high quality, African American judges is blatantly obvious.
Judge Brian Davis, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, attended its public school system, graduated from Princeton and was selected for Law Review at the University of Florida. Following the President’s nomination, political leaders, as well as jurists and community leaders from across Florida and the country praised Judge Davis and urged the Senate to quickly approve his nomination. Prior to this instance, never before has there been any kind of dissension within the Florida delegation; indeed, this is the very first time that one of the Florida Senators has gone out of his way to obstruct the promotion of a judge from his own state. Interestingly, at the Congressional hearing for Judge Davis’ nomination, Senator Rubio seconded the presentation of Judge Davis and publicly praised the caliber of the nominee, and lauded the non partisan judicial selection process that exists in Florida. Indicative of Judge Davis’ bipartisan support, he has been endorsed by the last 24 Jacksonville bar presidents, including both Republicans and Democrats. The top law enforcement officials in Jacksonville, Sheriff John Rutherford and State Attorney Angela Cory, both Republicans, have also endorsed Judge Davis’ nomination. John Delaney, the first Jacksonville Republican mayor and current University of North Florida President, also strongly endorsed him.
Judge Davis currently serves as a circuit judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida, a position he has held for nearly two decades. Prior to that, he was appointed as the first African American chief assistant state attorney in Florida, and served in that capacity for the Fourth Judicial Circuit from 1991 to 1994, and previously worked in the same office as an assistant state attorney from 1982 to 1988. He was recently re-elected in November, 2012, after receiving 99% of the vote.
Throughout his outstanding career, Judge Davis has been widely recognized for his work with domestic-violence victims and the mentally ill, and has held positions as a juvenile and drug court judge. He is held in great esteem as a dedicated defender of justice. Indeed, Judge Davis is universally respected and loved by his community, and serves as a role model for African American youth. For decades, this former Eagle Scout has held leadership positions in urban scouting. He also has continuously held leadership positions with multiple organizations that promote diversity. Beyond a doubt, his career is a testament to his commitment to public service and to the people of the state of Florida.
The Jacksonville division of the Middle District has been declared an emergency situation with only two active district judges to handle a very heavy docket, and as a result, justice is being delayed. Along with my colleagues here today and the people of the great state of Florida, I wholeheartedly urge Senator Rubio to desist from senseless partisanship and lift his hold on Judge Davis to allow his nomination to move forward.”