WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn delivered the following remarks at the investiture ceremony of the Honorable J. Michelle Childs as Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit:
As Prepared for Delivery
"Chief Judge and Members of the Court, Judge J. Michelle Childs,
"It is a great honor to be here today to watch Judge Childs take her Constitutional Oath and become the newest member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
"For Judge Childs, this is a long way from Columbia High School! But for many in this room who have known her since she was valedictorian of her class to those who have interacted with her at various points in her storied career – we never doubted that she would rise to extraordinary heights.
"She has so many professional accolades, which I will leave others to enumerate. What I want to celebrate is the unique life experiences that make Judge Childs distinctly qualified to serve on what is often characterized as the second most important court in the country.
"Judge Childs is the daughter of a police officer and a telephone company worker. After graduating from Columbia High School, she earned a scholarship to attend the University of South Florida’s Honors College that enabled her to afford a higher education. And, she graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, another public institution. Her trajectory reflects the life experiences of the vast majority of those of whom she will sit in judgement. Judge Childs has quantifiable characteristics such as degrees, awards, and titles that demonstrate she is worthy of this position. But it is the immeasurable characteristics like kindness, generosity, and compassion that made her a great choice of this honor.
"I travel throughout the country regularly and I am amazed at the number of people who tell me how highly they think of Judge Childs. They are effusive in their praise and admiration of her judicial acumen, but more importantly, they speak of her demeanor and generous spirit. That is a very rare combination.
"Judge Childs’ work beyond the courtroom mentoring young people and serving her community in a variety of ways demonstrate her commitment to giving back and bringing others along. She celebrates our nation’s diversity with her hiring practices and plays a critical role in helping her clerks and other staffers achieve their goals.
"But today is Judge J. Michelle Childs’ day. And I take pride and joy in the small role I played helping Judge Childs reach this august bench. I look forward to celebrating her accomplishments that are yet to come."