WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- A group of 10 state attorneys general, mostly current and some former, say they fully support President Barack Obama's nomination of Tom Perez as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Perez served as the secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation from January 2007 until October 2009, when he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as an assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

On Monday, Obama nominated Perez to be his new labor department secretary, replacing outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis.

"(Tom's) worked with CEOs, he's worked with labor leaders. He's worked at federal, state and local government levels. And throughout, he understands that our economy works best when the middle class and those working to get into the middle class have the security they need on the job, a democratic voice in the workplace, everybody playing by the same set of rules," the President said. "So Tom's knowledge and experience will make him an outstanding Secretary of Labor.

"And there's plenty of work to do. We're going to have to work very hard to make sure that folks find jobs with good wages and good benefits. We've got to make sure that our veterans who are returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan have a chance to put their incredible skills and leadership to work at home. We need to build an immigration system that works for every employee and every family and every business.

"I'm confident that Tom is going to be able to work to promote economic growth, but also make sure that that growth is broad-based. And he's going to be an integral part of our overall economic team."

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, North Carolina Roy Cooper, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper, Jr., former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna issued a joint statement Tuesday, expressing their support for Perez.

"Tom Perez is a brilliant lawyer and leader, who listens thoughtfully to all sides and works collaboratively to solve problems. He has dedicated his career to serving the public, and his experience as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and in the U.S. Department of Justice make him ideally suited to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor," the attorneys general said.

"As state attorneys general, we have found Perez to be open, responsive and fundamentally fair. He is committed to justice and the rule of law and able to work across party and philosophical lines to achieve just results."

They continued, "The U.S. Department of Labor and the country will be well served by a leader who understands the need to forge partnerships with state and local officials and who values cooperation to bring about successful results for both employers and employees."

Senate Republicans, including U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana and U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, have already come out against Perez's nomination.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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Mississippi Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice U.S. Department of Labor

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