Civil rights Groups Oppose 10th Circuit Nominee From Oklahoma

Sunday, June 18th 2006, 6:01 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A group of civil rights organizations has expressed concern about the nomination of Oklahoma City attorney Jerome A. Holmes to become a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

In a June 14 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the group called Holmes a ``longstanding and outspoken critic of affirmative action'' and questioned how Holmes would approach those issues and anti-discrimination laws if he is confirmed.

Among those who signed the letter were the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Alliance for Justice, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the National Urban League and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Holmes, 44, was nominated last month by President Bush for a seat on the Denver-based court, which is a step below the U.S. Supreme Court and hears appeals from courts in Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming.

He would be the first black judge on the circuit court.

At his confirmation hearing this week, Holmes said he wouldn't let his personal views influence his role as a judge.

``There is absolutely no doubt in my mind I would follow the law,'' Holmes said.

Holmes, a federal prosecutor in Oklahoma City from 1994 to 2005, wrote columns for The Oklahoman in 2002 and 2003 criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the University of Michigan's practice of using race as a factor in admissions to the university and its law school.

A committee vote has not been scheduled on Holmes' nomination. If approved by the committee, the nomination would have to be confirmed by the full Senate.