Judge Justin Walker’s ‘Qualifications Cannot Reasonably Be Questioned’

Kentuckians In The Legal Profession Who Know Judge Justin Walker Extol His ‘Impeccable Credentials,’ And Laud Him As ‘A Person Of Integrity Who Cares About The Rule Of Law And Is Committed To Doing Equal Justice For Every Individual Under The Law’


KENTUCKY’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION: “We are writing to enthusiastically support our fellow Kentuckian, Judge Justin Walker, on his nomination to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. We applaud President Trump’s decision to go beyond the Washington Beltway to choose Judge Walker, a rising judicial star with impeccable credentials, a dedication to the law, and an impressive reputation for collegiality.” (Sens. McConnell and Paul and Reps. Rogers, Guthrie, Barr, and Comer, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/09/2020)

  • “Judge Walker is a talented and fair jurist who reveres the Constitution and our nation’s founding principles. He understands that the job of a judge is to interpret and apply the laws and the Constitution as they are actually written. The country will benefit from having this brilliant, principled, and fair-minded legal expert on this consequential bench.” (Sens. McConnell and Paul and Reps. Rogers, Guthrie, Barr, and Comer, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/09/2020)
  • “Judge Walker, born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, is an outstanding legal scholar with exceptional academic credentials. He graduated summa cum laude from Duke University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Following his formal education, he sharpened his legal skills at the highest levels, including premier clerkships with then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit and Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Walker then brought his talents back home to Kentucky, where he practiced law and taught as a tenure-track professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law before starting his service on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.” (Sens. McConnell and Paul and Reps. Rogers, Guthrie, Barr, and Comer, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/09/2020)


Statewide Elected Kentucky Officials: Judge Walker’s ‘Legal Credentials Are Sterling,’ ‘He Is An Engaged Citizen’ And ‘Exactly The Kind Of Person We Want On The Bench,’ ‘Judge Walker Has Displayed The Sense Of Judicial Modesty … That Is The Hallmark Of An Outstanding Trial Court Jurist’

KENTUCKY SECRETARY OF STATE MICHAEL ADAMS: “As you know from Judge Walker’s prior confirmation process, his legal credentials are sterling—a law degree from Harvard, clerkships with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals—the very court to which he has now been nominated—and the Supreme Court, a professorship at the Brandeis School of Law, and private practice at prestigious law firms. You also know that Judge Walker is more than just a curriculum vitae. He is an engaged citizen, who has contributed to our society through pro bono representation, extensive work with a nonprofit catering to underserved children, and active mentorship of young attorneys regardless of ideology. Judge Walker offers the stellar qualifications we expect in an appellate jurist; more than that, he is simply a thoroughly decent and well-rounded human being. I have known Justin personally for several years and can attest that he is exactly the kind of person we want on the bench: brilliant, contemplative, open-minded, sympathetic, courteous, and fair. He has served in his current post with distinction and if promoted he will do our country proud.” (Michael G. Adams, Kentucky Secretary of State, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/17/2020)

KENTUCKY TREASURER ALLISON BALL: “Prior to being elected Treasurer, I practiced bankruptcy law and focused on consumer rights and commercial litigation. I also spent four years as an Assistant County Attorney, prosecuting child abuse and juvenile delinquency cases. Through my practice, I came to appreciate the qualities that make for a good judge – intelligence, a principled commitment on the law, and a strong work ethic. Judge Walker exhibits each of these…. During his tenure on the District Court, Judge Walker has displayed the sense of judicial modesty—applying the law as written, not as he might wish it to be—that is the hallmark of an outstanding trial court jurist. I am confident that he will bring that same sense of modesty, which is grounded in his appreciation for the importance of the separation of powers, to his work on the Circuit Court.” (Allison Ball, Kentucky State Treasurer, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/23/2020)

  • “Judge Walker’s career has focused on serving the people of Kentucky. He is one of a handful of people I know who, after serving as a clerk to a Supreme Court justice, chose to return to Kentucky to raise a family and serve the people of his home state. He first served as a law professor and counsel to a non-profit organization serving underprivileged children, and now serves as a federal district court judge. His decision to return home to Kentucky speaks volumes about his priorities and his values.” (Allison Ball, Kentucky State Treasurer, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/23/2020)


Distinguished Kentucky Attorneys: ‘Judge Walker Has All The Qualities Litigators Could Hope For,’ ‘Judge Walker Has The Heart To Render Decisions That Are Both Legally Sound And Compassionate,’ ‘[He] Is Also Open-Minded And Open To Differing Viewpoints,’ ‘We Know That In His Court We Will Get A Fair Shake From A Judge Who Cares About The Law And Follows It’

THOMAS M. WILLIAMS, former president of the Louisville Bar Association: “This is a letter of endorsement for the nomination of Judge Justin Walker to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. I am a member of the Kentucky law firm Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, a past president of the Louisville Bar Association, and a leader of Louisville’s effort to become a more compassionate city. I would like to address this letter to Judge Walker’s considerable civic efforts and his record of humble service. He serves as the volunteer Executive Director of the Global Game Changers (‘GGC’) Student Empowerment Program…. GGC believes that no matter where you come from, and no matter how old you are, you can make a difference in the world. I am familiar with GGC’s work because they were a key partner in Louisville’s compassionate city efforts—which I led…. Since its inception, GGC has reached thousands of children, and multiple independent evaluations of the program demonstrate that the program makes a profound difference in children’s lives…. Judge Walker has made presentations about the ‘power of compassion’ and GGC at South by Southwest EDU, has been the public face of GGC at press conferences and other media events across the community, and has worked with the GGC team to form partnerships with many of the leading philanthropic organizations in the community…. Judge Walker has the heart to render decisions that are both legally sound and compassionate. In my opinion, he will provide an appropriate voice for everyone who is before him.” (Thomas M. Williams, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/08/2020)

BRIAN L. FRYE, Spears-Gilbert Associate Professor of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law: “I am writing in enthusiastic support of the nomination of Justin R. Walker to be United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. I met Justin when I moved to Kentucky to become a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law, and I have known him for about eight years, both as a fellow scholar and as a friend…. I deeply admire Justin’s scholarship. His insights into the theory and practice of executive power are highly-respected, and in my opinion quite profound. I have invited him to speak to the faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Law, as well as to student groups. In all cases, he was a thoughtful, popular visitor. To his credit as a scholar, Justin is also open-minded and open to differing viewpoints. He has taken my comments on his work, as well as those of my colleagues, with gratitude and humility, whether they were positive or negative. In my personal opinion, Justin would make a first-rate circuit court judge. He is fair-minded, open to many different perspectives, and willing to be charitable to others, even if they are not charitable in return.” (Brian L. Frye, University of Kentucky College of Law, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/21/2020)

EMILY WHELAN PARENTO and BENJAMIN BEATON, Kentucky Attorneys: “We would like to offer the Committee our strongest recommendation in support of the nomination of Judge Justin Walker for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. For many years we have witnessed Justin’s skill as a lawyer and his character as a person. As friends and colleagues, we have spoken on legal panels, taught students, worked on cases, and mentored young lawyers. In every situation Justin has thought deeply about the law and how it affects others of all backgrounds. His demeanor is judicious, his tone respectful, and his mind open. Although the two of us hold differing views on many legal and constitutional questions, we agree on this: Judge Walker has all the qualities litigators could hope for. He brings a thorough understanding of the law, the ability to communicate it clearly and succinctly, and respect for our important but limited roles as judges, advocates, litigants, and citizens.” (Emily Whelan Parento and Benjamin Beaton, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 4/29/2020)

101 PRACTICING KENTUCKY ATTORNEYS: “As practicing attorneys in Kentucky, we support the nomination of Judge Justin Walker to serve as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. We enthusiastically recommend his confirmation. Our profession is necessarily adversarial, but our legal community is well-served by fair and honest judges who listen to the arguments and decide matters on an impartial basis and adherence to precedent. Judge Walker’s rigorous legal mind is matched by his ability to listen carefully. And his qualifications cannot reasonably be questioned …” (101 Kentucky Attorneys, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 5/04/2020)

  • “Some of us have not yet had the opportunity to practice before Judge Walker, but those of us who have done so have found him open-minded, conscientious, and compassionate. We know that in his court we will get a fair shake from a judge who cares about the law and follows it. Judge Walker is a person of integrity who cares about the rule of law and is committed to doing equal justice for every individual under the law. We are confident that on the D.C. Circuit he will continue to carefully consider the arguments of those practitioners appearing before him, and that he has the courage to apply precedent faithfully to resolve the disputes presented.” (101 Kentucky Attorneys, Letter to Sens. Graham and Feinstein, 5/04/2020)



Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Nominations