Senate Confirms Hoosier For Federal Court Appointment

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A Muncie native and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology graduate has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on one of the nation's most influential courts. Robert Wilkins will be part of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit. He has been a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia since 2010. January 14, 2014

News Release

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The U.S. Senate has confirmed Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology alumnus Robert L. Wilkins to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit, whose decisions on federal regulatory matters - including securities, communications and the environment - have national perspective. The confirmation came on a 55-43 vote on Monday, Jan. 13.

Wilkins, a 1986 Rose-Hulman chemical engineering graduate, was nominated to this federal judicial position last summer by President Barack Obama. The president praised Wilkins in a special White House Rose Garden ceremony as a "principled attorney of the utmost integrity," and the National Bar Association (NBA) applauded the nomination, based on his distinguished career and impeccable judicial record.

A Muncie, Ind. native, Wilkins has served as judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia since 2010. He had formerly practiced as a partner with Washington, D.C.-based Venable LLP, specializing in white collar defense, intellectual property, and complex civil litigation cases.

Wilkins was named one of the "40 under 40 most successful young litigators in America" by the National Law Journal and one of the "90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 years" by the Legal Times.

"Judge Wilkins is a respected appellate jurist, celebrated litigator, effective community mobilizer, and groundbreaking civil rights leader," stated NBA President John Page at the time of Wilkins’ nomination. "The D.C. Circuit Court will benefit from Judge Wilkins' diverse life experiences and commitment to excellence."

Wilkins also served as a staff attorney and head of special litigation for D.C.'s Public Defender Service, and a clerk for the U.S. District Court's Southern District of California. He earned a law degree from Harvard Law School after graduating from Rose-Hulman, where he earned the Herman A. Moench Commendation, presented annually to the institute’s most distinguished graduating senior.

Wilkins received the Rose-Hulman Alumni Association's Honor Alumnus Award in 2005 for his service to his alma mater and professional achievement. He also returned to campus in 2008 as the featured speaker of Rose-Hulman’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has been a stepping stone for four current Supreme Court justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts.

About Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is dedicated to preparing its students with the world’s best undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics education in an environment infused with innovation, intellectual rigor, and individualized attention. The college, located in Terre Haute, Indiana, has an enrollment of approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 100 graduate students. For 15 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has rated Rose-Hulman as the top undergraduate engineering college in the nation whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s. Rose-Hulman has also been recognized by The Princeton Review, which cited six of the institute’s professors within their 2012 Best 300 Professors book, the only institution of higher learning in Indiana to be included. Learn more at www.rose-hulman.edu.

Source: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology