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Furthermore …

Good D.C. judgment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit gained some Hoosier common sense this month with the confirmation of Judge Robert Wilkins. The new federal appeals court judge is a Muncie native.

Although President Barack Obama nominated Wilkins last June, his confirmation came only after Senate Democrats changed the rules to restrict filibusters. Senate Republicans were holding up executive and judicial branch nominations because the rules previously required 60 votes for confirmation. Now they are approved by a simple majority of 51.

Wilkins, a graduate of Muncie Northside High School, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Harvard Law School, faced long odds under the old rules because his appointment was opposed by gun-rights activists. The former D.C. District Court judge ruled that non-resident American citizens do not have the right to purchase guns while in the U.S.

His new appointment is an influential one. The D.C. Circuit frequently rules on the constitutionality of new federal laws and regulations.

“(Robert) got a good start here in Muncie,” his mother, Joyce Wilkins, told the Star Press. “In the schools and with my family ... there were a lot of people who knew he would do great things. Having a single mother didn’t stop anyone who knew him from believing that.”

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