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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Senator Statements

 

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Sen. Cruz still supports Jeff Mateer federal judicial nomination
(Republican - Texas) 09/28/17
Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that he still supports federal judge nominee Jeff Mateer, a top lawyer for the state of Texas, despite revelations that Mateer has described transgender children as part of "Satan's plan" and warned that same-sex marriage would lead to polygamy and bestiality.... Cruz said the statements don't change his support for Mateer, a longtime conservative legal advocate who serves as the deputy to state Attorney General Ken Paxton. "His record as a lawyer and public servant demonstrates a fidelity to law and a commitment to protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights," Cruz said in a brief interview at the Senate.

Sens. Cornyn, Cruz Praise White House Announcement of Fifth Circuit Nominees
(Republican - Texas) 09/28/17
“Jim Ho and Justice Willett are two exceptional legal minds who will faithfully interpret the law, not rewrite it," said Sen. Cornyn. “Mr. Ho skillfully defended the state before our nation’s highest court while Justice Willett has distinguished himself as a thoughtful jurist known for his legal writing. I was proud to join Senator Cruz in recommending both candidates and I look forward to building support among my colleagues for their nominations.” “I am thrilled to support the nominations of Don Willett and Jim Ho to the Fifth Circuit. I have been close friends with them both for decades, and I know them personally to be brilliant lawyers and principled conservatives,” Sen. Cruz said. “For over a decade on the Texas Supreme Court, Don Willett has proven himself to be a jurist of the highest order. His service on the court was simply one more step in a career of public service, from the Texas Governor Office, to the White House, to the Department of Justice, to the Texas Attorney General’s office. Every step along the way, Justice Willett has stood out as man of intellect and principle, and I am excited to see what he will accomplish on the Fifth Circuit. Jim Ho has proven throughout his accomplished career that he is a passionate defender of the Constitution and the rule of law. Jim has served with distinction in all three branches of government, including as a law clerk to the great Justice Clarence Thomas on the United States Supreme Court, an official at the Department of Justice, and a chief counsel here in the United States Senate. Jim also succeeded me as Solicitor General of Texas, where he argued some of this country’s toughest cases before its highest courts. I am confident that he will be a stellar jurist and an intellectual force on the court.”

Sen. Cruz: Breaking up 9th Circuit Court ‘a possibility’
(Republican - Texas) 04/27/17
“I think that’s a topic I can easily see the [Senate] Judiciary Committee taking up, and we’ll have to see whether we have to votes to do that or not.” Cruz added that California’s inclusion in the court’s jurisdiction has given it a liberal tilt. “I think many of the Western states are weighted down by California,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate said. “California has a ton of very liberal, left-wing judges that they put on the 9th Circuit. I think a lot of the other Western states would love to be freed from that corrosive left-wing influence.”

Sens. Cruz, Cornyn Announce Application Process for Texas Judgeships and U.S. Attorney Positions
(Republican - Texas) 01/19/17
“The FJEC selection process ensures Texans have the best, most qualified federal judges and prosecutors serving them,” Sen. Cruz said. “Texas is blessed with many exceptional candidates with a deep respect for the rule of law, and I encourage them to pursue these important positions.” “As a former judge and Attorney General of Texas, I acutely understand the importance of ensuring that we have the best people sitting on the federal bench and enforcing federal law in Texas,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I encourage any qualified individuals interested in serving Texas in these roles to take the first step by submitting their information to the review committee.”

Sen. Cruz Issues Statement on President-Elect Trump’s Choice for Attorney General
(Republican - Texas) 11/18/16
“Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as attorney general is great news for all of us who revere the Constitution and the rule of law. I have been honored to work with Sen. Sessions on many of our nation’s most important issues over the last four years. Sen. Sessions has had an extraordinary career in government and law enforcement. He has been an exemplary senator for the state of Alabama, and I am confident that he will be an exceptional United States attorney general.”

Sen. Cruz on five Texas federal district court nominees and Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland
(Republican - Texas) 10/03/16
Just two weeks ago, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on five Texas judges. They were tapped by Obama to fill half of the vacancies in the sprawling red state. The state’s Republican senators are advocating their speedy approval by the full Senate.... While the Texans are pushing their home state nominees, they’re opposed to holding hearings on Garland or anyone else the president might have picked to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. “Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley have rightly held the line,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told The Daily Beast. He says there’s no comparing district court judges and the ninth seat on the highest court in the land, in part because the nominating process is drastically different. “We have a federal judiciary advisory committee that consists of respected attorney’s from across the state—geographically diverse, politically diverse, bipartisan—that interviews potential judicial candidates and ensures that nominees have the qualifications and experience and temperament to do the important jobs for which they’re being considered, and each of these five nominees made it through this vigorous process,” Cruz said.

Republican Senators from 15 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (Sept. 13, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Wisconsin) 09/13/16
Including all 16 Republican senators with nominees on the Senate Floor. Excerpts and links to Senator statements by state

SEN. CRUZ COMMENDS FIVE TEXAS FEDERAL JUDICIAL NOMINEES AT HEARING
(Republican - Texas) 09/08/16
“As many of the people in this hearing know, Sen. Cornyn and I four years ago created a bipartisan federal judicial advisory committee consisting of esteemed members of the Bar throughout the State of Texas,” Sen. Cruz said in his opening statement. “It is bipartisan. It includes leaders in every region of the state to make recommendations on judicial appointments, and each of the five nominees who is sitting before us is a product of that process. “Each of you has been through vigorous interviews, has been through the scrutiny of your colleagues and the scrutiny of your peers. It is designed to be an exacting process, but it is also designed to be a process that helps the cream rise to the top and helps produce nominees who will be the very best at what they do at the bench, who will be learned in the law, who will be faithful to the law and faithful to the Constitution, and who will bring honor to the judiciary and uphold the integrity of our courts. So I congratulate each of the five of you for making it through the process with such flying colors.”

Republican Home-State Senators Urge Immediate Action on Federal Judicial Nominees Pending in April 2016 (ID, IN, KS, NE, ND, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, WI)
(Republican - Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Wisconsin) 04/06/16

Sens. Cornyn, Cruz Seek Applications for Texas Judgeships and U.S. Attorney Vacancies
(Republican - Texas) 08/31/15
Senators Cornyn and Cruz are accepting applications for two judicial and two U.S. Attorney vacancies in Texas. The Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC), a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, will review applications, interview candidates, and make recommendations to the Senators. The judicial vacancies are in the Eastern (Tyler) and Southern (Brownsville) Districts. “Texans deserve able, fair, and independent prosecutors and judges, and I encourage all interested candidates to step forward and answer the call to serve their state so we can fill these openings as soon as possible,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The FJEC selection process ensures Texans have the best, most qualified judges and prosecutors defending their rights in court,” Sen. Cruz said. “Texas is blessed with many exceptional candidates with a deep respect for the rule of law, and I encourage them to pursue these important positions.”

Sens. Cornyn, Cruz Announce Application Process for Texas Judgeships: QUALIFIED ATTORNEYS ARE INVITED TO SEEK APPOINTMENTS FOR VACANCIES IN WESTERN AND EASTERN DISTRICTS
(Republican - Texas) 04/08/15
The vacancies are in the Western (Midland) and Eastern (Plano) Districts. "Texans deserve the best and brightest minds on the bench, and as a former judge, I encourage all interested candidates to step up and answer the calling for public service," Sen. Cornyn said. "The FJEC selection process ensures Texans have the best, most qualified judges and prosecutors defending their rights in court," said Sen. Cruz. "Texas is blessed with many exceptional candidates with a deep respect for the rule of law, and I encourage them to pursue these important judicial positions."

Sen. Cruz call on Majority Leader to halt confirmations of judicial and other nominees
(Republican - Texas) 02/03/15
“For several months now, I have called on the Senate majority leader to halt confirmations of every nominee executive and judicial, other than vital national security positions, unless or until the president rescinds his unconstitutional amnesty,” Cruz told POLITICO in the Capitol. “We have an opportunity in front of us right now with Loretta Lynch — a nominee for attorney general — who has fully embraced and flat-out promised to implement the unconstitutional amnesty.”

Cornyn, Cruz Announce Application Process for Texas Judgeships: QUALIFIED ATTORNEYS ARE INVITED TO SEEK APPOINTMENTS FOR VACANCIES IN NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
(Republican - Texas) 01/30/15
This panel, known as the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, will review applications, interview candidates, and make recommendations to the Senators. The vacancies are in the Northern (Lubbock) and Southern (Corpus Christi) Districts. "Texans deserve able, fair, and independent jurists on the bench, and as a former judge, I encourage all interested candidates to step up to the plate and submit an application," said Sen. Cornyn. "The FJEC selection process ensures Texans have the best, most qualified judges and prosecutors defending their rights in court," said Sen. Cruz. "Texas is blessed with many exceptional candidates with a deep respect for the rule of law, and I encourage them to pursue these important judicial positions."

Sen. Cruz v. confirming judicial nominees
(Republican - Texas) 01/28/15
“For several months now, I’ve called for us to use every constitutional check and balance we have to rein in the president’s illegal action. That includes using the confirmation power given by the Constitution as a direct check on the executive,” Cruz said. “In my view the majority leader should announce the Senate will not confirm any executive or judicial nominees in this Congress, other than vital national security positions, unless and until the president rescinds” the executive actions granting deferred action to almost 5 million of undocumented individuals.

Sen. Cruz at hearing on Texas federal judicial nominees
(Republican - Texas) 01/21/15
Cruz praised the three judges in Wednesday's hearing and congratulated them for surviving a "long and grueling process" and coming through, he said, with "flying colors."

UPDATED: Republican Home-State Senators Support Judicial Nominees
(Republican - Utah, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, North Carolina) 12/03/14
Links and excerpts for Republican home-state senator support of judicial nominees during Senate's lame duck session and history of prior lame duck confirmations.

Texas Senators on judicial nominees
(Republican - Texas) 11/20/14
A Senate committee recommended three nominees for federal judgeships Thursday, paving the way for their approval before the full Senate....Cornyn said on his weekly call with Texas reporters that he and Cruz “would like to move quickly” on the three Texas judicial nominations. “All of these nominees were recommended to the White House by me and Sen. Cruz … My hope is that we can actually get these three good nominees confirmed” during the lame duck session."

Republican Home-State Senators Support Pending Judicial Nominees
(Republican - Utah, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, North Carolina) 10/23/14
Dozens of pending nominees to fill federal trial court vacancies have the requisite support from their home-state senators. Scroll down for links and excerpts for Republican home-state senator support of pending nominees, including 10 who would fill U.S. Courts-declared Judicial Emergency Vacancies. Most judicial nominees awaiting Floor votes were approved by the Judiciary Committee on unopposed voice votes. All nominees should and could receive Floor votes during the Senate’s scheduled lame duck postelection session, including those awaiting Committee hearings or votes. See What's Good for One Lame Duck Ought to be Good for Another, Judith E. Schaeffer, Vice President, Constitutional Accountability Center. Huff Post Politics Updated: 05/25/2011 [“During the Senate's "lame duck" session in 2002, the Senate voted on and confirmed 20 of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees, including two highly controversial nominees to the Court of Appeals (Dennis Shedd and Michael McConnell).”]

Sens. Cornyn, Cruz applaud nominations for Texas’ Southern District Judgeships
(Republican - Texas) 09/19/14
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced the President has nominated Judge Alfred H. Bennett, Judge George C. Hanks, Jr., and Judge Jose Rolando Olvera, Jr. to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas: “I am pleased that the President has nominated three exceptional candidates for these important positions,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Their depth of experience and unqualified dedication to public service has uniquely prepared each of them to handle these new roles, and I hope the Senate will confirm their nominations.” ”Our judicial system depends on well-qualified judges to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Sen. Cruz. “I, along with my fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, have recommended three judges to President Obama who have been nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. “Our Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee seeks judges of the highest caliber, and we will continue to work with the White House to recommend candidates who have expressed a commitment to the law of the land.” Each of these candidates was recommended by Sens. Cornyn and Cruz to the President after being screened by their bipartisan Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC).

Sen. Cruz statement at Judiciary Committee hearing to Texas judicial nominees Mazzant, Pitman & Schroeder
(Republican - Texas) 09/09/14
"I want to commend the three from Texas, because you would not be here if you had not very much impressed the members of that committee, and had you not impressed both Senator Cornyn and I. We met with each of you, and you had impressive professional credentials and a long career demonstrating the fidelity in the law that we expect from our judges."

Sen. Cruz: Halbig decision is a 'repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that comes with it'
(Republican - Texas) 07/22/14
""The D.C. Circuit's decision today in Halbig v. Burwell is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it," said Sen. Cruz....This is a significant victory for the American people and the rule of law, but we must not rest. ... Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed to restore jobs, growth, and opportunity in our country."

Sens. Cornyn, Cruz Announce Application Process for Texas Judgeships; INVITE QUALIFIED ATTORNEYS TO SEEK APPOINTMENT FOR VACANCIES IN NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN DISTRICTS
(Republican - Texas) 07/02/14
“Texans deserve the finest legal minds and ablest professionals to serve as U.S. District Judges throughout our state’s federal judicial districts,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Public service is a great calling, and, as a former judge, I encourage everyone who is interested in serving in these important positions to apply.” “This FJEC panel will ensure Texans have the best, most qualified judges and prosecutors defending their rights in court,” said Sen. Cruz. “We have an abundant pool of qualified legal experts in Texas who would serve our state well, and I look forward to seeing an exceptional group of applicants pursue these important judicial positions.”

Sen. Cruz Floor Statement opposing David Barron nomination to the First Circuit
(Republican - Texas) 05/21/14
"I have known Mr. Barron for a long time. He and I were classmates in law school. He is a smart man. He is a talented man. He is a professor at Harvard Law School and he is a well-respected professor. However, Mr. Barron is an unabashed judicial activist. He is an unapologetic and vocal advocate for judges applying liberal policy from the bench and disregarding the terms of the Constitution and the laws of the land. If the Members of this body vote to confirm him, we will bear responsibility for undermining liberty and undermining the rule of law in this country."

WHY WON’T REPUBLICAN SENATE LEADERS ALLOW FLOOR VOTES ON 24 PENDING JUDICIAL NOMINEES ALL GOP HOME-STATE SENATORS SUPPORT?
(Republican - Maine, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin) 04/04/14
17 Republican U.S. Senators from 12 states support 24 pending district and appeals court nominees & re-nominees (originally nominated last year) who would fill vacancies in their states

Sen. Cruz following Senate Judiciary Committee voice vote of Judge Gregg Costa Fifth Circuit nomination
(Republican - Texas) 03/27/14
Sen. Ted Cruz said that he expected Costa to sail through the Senate with strong bipartisan support. He commended the state’s Federal Judiciary Advisory Committee, formed by the two Texas Senators, for ensuring the quality of Texas judicial nominees. “Administrations, frankly of both parties, have sometimes tended to treat judicial nominations as political plum, rather than looking for a jurist of the highest caliber, integrity and judicial temperament,” he said.

Sen. Cruz on Judge Gregg Costa 5th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Texas) 03/13/14
Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Sen. Ted Cruz, said in an email that the senator “intends to support Judge Costa’s nomination.”