Group Calls for Approval of Iowan to Appeals Court

A group of about 300 joggers and walkers head south of 29th Street NE on the Cedar River Trail at the start of the "take back the trail" event Wednesday, June 29, 2005. The event marked the one-year anniversary of when Jane Kelly of Cedar Rapids was brutally attacked near the same site on the trail. Kelly led the group.

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By Rachel Begle

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A coalition of progressive groups is calling on U.S. senators to confirm a federal public defender from Cedar Rapids as a member of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday considered President Barack Obama's nomination of Jane Kelly to the court, which hears cases from Iowa and several other states. Kelly has been an assistant federal public defender since 1994, and she recently represented white-collar criminal Russ Wasendorf Sr.

Kelly's nomination to the federal bench has been endorsed by Iowa's two senators, Democrat Tom Harkin and Republican Chuck Grassley.

The Iowa Fair Courts Coalition on Wednesday called Kelly highly qualified and asked the Senate to schedule a floor vote on her nomination.

The coalition includes the state's largest gay rights group and pro-labor groups.
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