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Group Calls for Approval of Iowan to Appeals Court

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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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