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Court Nominee Withdraws Over Illegal Alien Claim

Posted Aug 23, 2007 9:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A nominee for the Connecticut Appellate Court has withdrawn his name from consideration after a flap over his claim that the court system is closed to illegal aliens.

John R. Downey, a judge on the state’s superior court, apologized in a letter announcing his decision, the New York Times reports. He had told a lawyer for immigrant divorce litigants in 2002 that only people legally in the United States can use the court system.

His withdrawal followed questions from lawmakers about that remark and his praise he made during a court proceeding for segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond on the day after his death.

Downey said his views have evolved. “I would like to state unequivocally that it is my position that all people have the right to access our courts to seek redress for legal injury,” he wrote.

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