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Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Senator Statements


Senator's Party
Senator's State
Items 1 - 30 of 33  12Next

(Republican - Alabama) 02/13/16
"It is wrong to view the Court’s division as a matter of politics, at least for the orthodox judges. They found their judgment on law not politics. It is our responsibility to the American people and our Constitutional heritage to ensure that Justice Scalia’s legacy on the Court is carried on.”

Sens. Sessions & Shelby joint statement on 11th Circuit nomination of Judge Kallon
(Republican - Alabama) 02/11/16
"Throughout the process of meeting with the White House on filling judicial vacancies, we negotiated in good faith to find nominees that will serve our state well," they said. "While we thought progress had been made, apparently the White House was never interested in good faith negotiations, and it is too late now."

Sen. Sessions & Shelby and AL district & 11th Circuit judicial vacancies
(Republican - Alabama) 05/29/15
“Fuller's resignation depletes the federal bench in Alabama even further. Three judges in Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville are on senior status, and there is an Alabama vacancy on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. ...The White House has been in consultation for months with Sewell, other Alabama Democrats and both Republican senators about possible nominees for the empty slots. Fuller's seat is now added to that mix. "It is his hope that the president will move swiftly to fill the vacancy created by his resignation and he looks forward to the next chapter in his life," Ragsdale said.”

Sen. Sessions on AL district and 11th Circuit judicial vacancies
(Republican - Alabama) 04/22/15
Negotiations on filling three judicial vacancies in Alabama have dragged on more than 18 months, even with a fourth vacancy coming in May. Alabama Democrats and Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, have recommended several names to the White House. But President Barack Obama’s staff is still consulting with Alabama’s two Republican senators, Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, who can block action on judicial nominees from the state. Sessions and Shelby met with White House officials last week, but Sessions said Tuesday that no deal was reached. He declined to discuss the negotiations. “We’ve had cordial meetings,” Sessions said. “And that’s about all I can say.”... In October 2013, U.S. Circuit Judge Joel Dubina, who held an Alabama seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, also took senior status. ... Soon after Dubina took senior status, the Alabama senators and the White House began talking about developing a single slate of nominees — negotiated as a package deal — that would satisfy Democrats as well as Sessions and Shelby.... Sessions, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee where judicial nominations are reviewed, said he prefers handling multiple nominations at once rather than individually. He denied that Republicans are trying to stall on Obama’s nominees until after the 2016 presidential election. “I think it’s possible to get some good judges in now, and I think that would be good,” Sessions said.

Sens. Shelby and Sessions on Judicial Selection
(Republican - Alabama) 01/07/14
In interviews Tuesday on Capitol Hill, Alabama GOP Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions said they are working with the White House to find qualified nominees for the 11th Circuit and two other vacancies on lower federal courts in Huntsville and Montgomery. “I’m interested in the best qualified nominees that we can get, realizing that we have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate,” Shelby said. “My idea is not to rubber stamp anybody politically because those are very important lifetime jobs. I think diversity is important, but qualifications should trump everything. Oftentimes you can have diversity and qualifications. I believe that.” Sessions is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which reviews nominees. He declined to discuss any potential nominees or the issue of diversity. “There are many factors one can consider in appointments but fundamentally I hope the president will nominate somebody who is committed to the rule of law, is hardworking and honest, and understands they serve under the law and under the Constitution and they’re not above it,” Sessions said.

Sen. Sessions quoted on Chief Justice Roberts support for filling empty D.C. Circuit seats
(Republican - Alabama) 10/28/13
Jen Bendery: "Also an advocate of filling the court's empty slots: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. He backed the court keeping all 11 seats in an April 5 report issued by the Judicial Conference of the United States, which is headed by Roberts. Sessions, for one, hadn't heard about Roberts' support. "I want to see that quote. Where'd he say that?" Sessions asked, jumping out of an elevator he'd just hopped into. When HuffPost cited the April 5 report, Sessions grumbled about Roberts not being a real Republican. "He's always advocating the court. He wants pay raises for staff," he said. "Otherwise, he's supposed to be conservative.""

Sen. Sessions quoted on D.C. Circuit nominees at Committee vote on Pillard nomination
(Republican - Alabama) 09/19/13
As Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama puts it: "We do not need all three circuit judges. I'm not sure we need any."

Sen. Jeff Sessions: President Obama's nominee for open federal bench in Alabama a very good choice
(Republican - Alabama) 06/19/13
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., today said that President Barack Obama made a good choice in nominating Madeline Hughes Haikala for a lifetime appointment as a federal judge for northern Alabama.... Sessions congratulated Haikala and President Obama, "because he's made by all accounts a very good choice." Sessions noted Haikala received the American Bar Association's top rating for the job. He also praised Haikala as "one of the premier attorneys" in Alabama. She is known for her appellate practice and pro bono work, he said. Among her accomplishments, Sessions noted was her recognition in Birmingham Magazine, as one of the "Top Attorneys" in that magazine's third annual peer review survey.

Sen. Sessions on Obama D.C. Circuit Nominations
(Republican - Alabama) 06/07/13
"My concern is that every slot on this circuit does not need to be filled," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I'll continue to look at the caseload and see where we are."

Sen. Sessions on D.C. Circuit vacancies
(Republican - Alabama) 06/04/13
“My take is every slot on this circuit does not need to be filled,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “At some point you don’t need to be approving judges that don’t have enough work to do.”

(Republican - Alabama) 03/04/13
"I do think it is an extraordinary circumstance. I take that decision seriously. There have not been many that I found that to have occurred."

Republican Senator Statements Against Judicial Nominee Filibusters
(Republican - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah) 11/29/11

Sen. Sessions' Floor Statement on Goodwin Liu
(Republican - Alabama) 05/19/11

Sen. Sessions says Edward Chen should get a Floor vote
(Republican - Alabama) 03/17/11
"I did not oppose him having a vote as you and I have talked, but as part of the wrangle in the leadership that nominee never came up. And I’m of the view that if he’s moved out of committee again he should get a vote at some point as we go forward."

Sen. Jeff Sessions Rants Against Judicial Nominees With 'ACLU DNA' (VIDEO)
(Republican - Alabama) 12/21/10
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) railed against President Barack Obama's nominees to the federal bench on Tuesday afternoon, complaining that Obama was only nominating individuals with "ACLU DNA" and rattling off a list of potential judges who are now or have ever been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. "I'm sure that less than one percent of the lawyers in America are members of the ACLU," Sessions said. "It seems if you have the ACLU DNA, you get a pretty good leg up to being nominated by this president."... Sessions also called for Obama's judicial nominees to account for the views of the ACLU on issues like religious liberty and the death penalty. "You can be members of organizations, even though some of us might not like it or agree with the organization, but any nominee from a conservative organization who takes extreme positions would certainly have to answer those positions and justify why they might take them," Sessions explained. "It's clear that the president, our president, an activist -- a community activist, a liberal progressive as his friends have described him, and former law professor, is attempting to pack the courts who share his views and who will promote his vision of what, as he has said about judges, what America should be," Sessions said. "I do believe the administration needs to understand that this is going to be a more contentious matter if we keep seeing the ACLU chromosome as part of this process," Sessions said.

Sen. Sessions: Opposing view on the Supreme Court: A big-government vision
(Republican - Alabama) 07/20/10
"After carefully reviewing Elena Kagan's record and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I must oppose her nomination."

Sens. Sessions and Shelby support Abdul Kallon's Northern District of Alabama nomination at Judiciary Committee hearing
(Republican - Alabama) 11/04/09
Sen. Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy: "All of the judicial nominees appearing before the Committee today are from the home State of members of this Committee. We welcome Abdul Kallon, who has been nominated to serve in the Northern District of Alabama, the home State of the Committee's Ranking Member, Senator Sessions. His nomination also has the support of Senator Shelby."

(Republican - Alabama) 11/04/09
"I am pleased to introduce Mr. Abdul Kallon, who's been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. He's had a distinguished law career.... Mr. Kallon clerked for Judge U.W. Clemon, Chief Judge of the Northern District of Alabama, who I see here with him in support, I know, of Mr. Kallon. So, that's the same court for which he's being considered today. I'm sure Judge Clemon is pleased to have someone of his caliber replacing him on the bench. Following his clerkship, Mr. Kallon joined the law firm of Bradley, Arent, Bolt, Cummings in Birmingham, which I suppose they would say was a premier law firm in the State, certainly it was the biggest law firm in the State for many years, and I guess that it still is. ... He received some impressive accolades for his work. In both 2007 and 2008, he was listed in the Best Lawyers in America for Labor and Employment Law, and in each of the last 3 years was listed in Chamber's U.S.A. America's Leading Lawyers for Labor and Employment Law. In addition to his impressive legal credentials, he's been active and dedicated to the community. For the past 9 years he's worked closely with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He's also been a member of the board of directors of Children's Village since 2004, and the board of directors of Girls, Inc. of Central Alabama since 2007. Mr. Chairman, I talked to a number of lawyers in the Birmingham area who know Mr. Kallon and they all speak universally very highly of his integrity and judgment and legal ability."

Sen. Sessions' Op-Ed Opposing Sotomayor Nomination
(Republican - Alabama) 07/27/09

Sen. Sessions Op-Ed: We can’t be blind to bias
(Republican - Alabama) 07/13/09