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This evening the United States Senate voted 63-33 to confirm Tiffany P. Cunningham’s nomination to the Federal Circuit. Once she receives her commission, she will make history by becoming the first African American judge on the Federal Circuit. As we have highlighted, she will join the court with prior experience as a law clerk at the Federal Circuit with Judge Dyk. She is a registered patent attorney with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and nearly two decades of experience as a patent litigator with Perkins Coie in Chicago.

Her confirmation votes comes a little more than a month after the Senate’s Committee on the Judiciary voted in favor of her nomination by a vote of 16-6. In a speech supporting her nomination, Senator Dick Durbin said she “will offer a perspective shaped by personal and professional experience that reflect the diversity of our nation.” He also explained that, “[g]iven her years of experience working on issues germane to the Federal Circuit, she’ll be ready upon confirmation to hit the ground running.” Last Thursday, the Senate invoked cloture on her nomination by a vote of 63-34.

Congratulations to Judge Cunningham. In the words of Chief Justice Roberts, may she have a long and happy career in her calling to the bench.