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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Senator Statements

 

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Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Members on blue slip home-state Senator requirement for judicial nominees
(Republican - Idaho, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana) 05/08/17
In addition to Grassley, more than a half-dozen other Republicans on the judiciary panel said in interviews that they have no plans to ditch blue slips. ... Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who has 11 district court vacancies in his home state, along with two empty appellate court seats, called the blue slip an “equal opportunity irritant.” “When it’s an impediment, then people don’t like it. When it’s helpful, people like it,” Cornyn said. “What it does [is], it provokes a negotiation, which I don’t think is an altogether bad thing.” Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) offered a similar defense of the practice. “We used it effectively — myself with Sen. [John] McCain — to negotiate with the Obama administration on judges,” Flake said. “I like that tradition.”

Republican senators aren't willing to give the president more power to get his nominees installed
(Republican - ) 05/08/17
Democrats will retain the blue-slip leverage, at least for now. A broad swath of Senate Republicans is opposed to doing away with the tradition ... Grassley said he plans to abide by it. In addition to Grassley, more than a half-dozen other Republicans on the judiciary panel said in interviews that they have no plans to ditch blue slips. That's the case even though doing so would allow Trump to more easily install conservative judges, particularly in states with two Democratic senators. “That’s been the traditions of the Senate, that home-state senators have a say,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a senior member of the committee. “I’m not about to give up my rights as a senator to have a say about district court judges who’ll represent my constituents long after the president’s gone.” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who has 11 district court vacancies in his home state, along with two empty appellate court seats, called the blue slip an “equal opportunity irritant.” “When it’s an impediment, then people don’t like it. When it’s helpful, people like it,” Cornyn said. “What it does [is], it provokes a negotiation, which I don’t think is an altogether bad thing.” Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) offered a similar defense of the practice. “We used it effectively — myself with Sen. [John] McCain — to negotiate with the Obama administration on judges,” Flake said. “I like that tradition.”

Sen. Flake Presses 9th Circuit on Court’s Taxpayer-funded Lobbying Efforts Against Split Legislation
(Republican - Arizona) 05/01/17
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today sent a follow-up letter to the top administrator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit questioning the court’s political activities geared toward resisting his legislation to create a new 12th Circuit.... “Establishing a new federal circuit with stronger local, regional, and cultural ties will ease the caseload burden across the West and ensure that Arizonans finally get the swift access to justice they deserve,” said Flake. “While we must protect judicial independence, we must also ensure that 9th Circuit officials do not interfere with Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of our federal courts.”

Sen. Flake Presses 9th Circuit for Answers on “Unsettling” Statement to Media: Sends letter regarding public information office’s decision to take sides on his pending legislation to break up the court
(Republican - Arizona) 02/10/17
“I am aware that individual judges within the Ninth Circuit have historically expressed opinions on the topic. Some are in favor of the split. Others oppose it. Others view the question as a matter of legislative prerogative… It was unsettling to learn that an Article III court has a position on pending legislation and that a public information officer would purport to speak on behalf of the court as a whole, notwithstanding the diversity of opinion members of the court have historically expressed on this question,” wrote Flake.

Sen. Flake on bid to split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
(Republican - Arizona) 01/22/17
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he’s planning to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to split up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals .... “With regard to the court, it’s just access to justice,” Flake said. “Its docket is more than twice as big as the next biggest circuit. This has been a long time coming, and hopefully we can make some progress finally.” Flake’s office said the bill will be similar to the legislation he introduced a year ago to establish an additional U.S. circuit court — composed of Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Alaska — to relieve what he said at the time is an “oversized and overworked” 9th U.S. Circuit.

SENATORS JOHN MCCAIN AND JEFF FLAKE FEDERAL JUDICIARY EVALUATION COMMITTEE (FJEC)
(Republican - Arizona) 01/20/17
"For which court are you applying (check one or each): U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona; U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona"

AZ Senators: Apply for Federal Judicial Nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 01/20/17
As stated in the United States Constitution, the President of the United States shall nominate, “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,” judges and all other officers of the United States. In keeping with this constitutional responsibility Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are currently requesting that qualified individuals who would like to be considered for an appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Court Judge for the Federal District of Arizona, for the position of United States Attorney or United States Marshall, and additional judicial appointments as vacancies warrant, please submit completed applications as soon as possible.... n order to expedite the process, Senators McCain and Flake have established an informal group of legal professionals referred to as the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, to help locate and evaluate potential candidates.

Even with GOP in power, Sens. John McCain, Jeff Flake want to preserve Senate filibuster
(Republican - Arizona) 12/02/16
Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake are saying the Senate, controlled by their fellow Republicans, should not tinker with filibuster rules to ease the path for incoming President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominations and legislative agenda. But McCain, Arizona's senior senator, signaled to The Arizona Republic that he might reconsider his position should Senate Democrats prove intransigent.... "I would like to see us not break the 60-vote rule, but I can't rule out consideration of it if we are just totally gridlocked," McCain said. "But we also have to keep in mind that at no time in history has one party always remained in the majority. That's democracy.... Flake, Arizona's junior senator, was more adamant in his defense of the filibuster. Jettisoning the filibuster for legislation would be particularly damaging to the system and "would change the very nature of the Senate," he said. "As for the agenda, I think we can work with a number of Democrats," Flake said. "We won't always be in the majority and, if you like limited government, I think the filibuster is wise."

Sen. Flake on filibusters of Supreme Court nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 11/16/16
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., all said Tuesday that they would not support a change to the Senate rules to require a simple majority vote to end a Democratic filibuster for high court nominees. "I never wanted to go nuclear – I think we could do it without going nuclear," Flake said in a brief interview about the looming high court fight.

Sen. Flake on Merrick Garland nomination to fill Supreme Court vacancy
(Republican - Arizona) 10/03/16
[Sen.] Flake believes his party miscalculated on Garland from the evening Scalia died and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut the door on confirming anyone—from a Republican ally to a moderate like Garland—that President Obama put forward to fill the vacancy. “Our position shouldn’t be that the next president ought to decide. Nobody really believes that, because if this were the last year of a Republican presidency nobody would say that,” Flake said with a chuckle. “Our position ought to be to confirm the most conservative justice to replace Scalia—to maintain the balance on the Court. That ought to be the principle, and that would allow for us to go with Garland if the alternative is somebody more liberal.”

Sen. Flake on Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 06/30/16
Flake, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is open to holding a vote for Garland if it starts to get close to November and Donald Trump still looks like he won't win the presidency. "Obviously if we lose the election and lose the White House, then we ought to move quickly to confirm [Garland]," the Republican senator told Business Insider. "And I think if it becomes apparent that we aren't going to win the White House — if we know in October that it's not good — then we've got to move forward at that point." "But I don't think my view is shared by too many of my colleagues," he continued. "Or enough of my colleagues to do it."

Sen. Flake on Chief Judge Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 05/08/16
"I think Republicans are more than justified in waiting. That is following both principle and precedent. But the principle is to have the most conservative, qualified jurists that we can have on the Supreme Court, not that the people ought to decide before the next election. I've never held that position. If we come to a point, I've said all along, where we're going to lose the election, or we lose the election in November, then we ought to approve him quickly. Because I'm certain that he'll be more conservative than a Hillary Clinton nomination comes January."

Sen. Flake: No Scalia Replacement This Year
(Republican - Arizona) 02/22/16
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today issued the following statement: “One would have to go back more than a century to find a scenario where a president’s nominee for the Supreme Court was confirmed by the opposition party in the Senate when the vacancy occurred during an election year. I'm not about to break new ground in the Senate, particularly when any nominee could so drastically shift the balance of the court.”

Sen. Flake Floor Statement for Arizona district court nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 05/14/14
"I thank the senior Senator from Arizona Mr. McCain for the work he has done to bring this panel forward with six judges to be confirmed this week. That is a big deal, a big deal for any State, and for a State such as Arizona that has had such a shortage for so long, this is particularly important.... what a thrill it was to be on the Judiciary Committee and have all six of these prospective judges come with their families and talk about their experience and how it would relate to their new role if they were to be confirmed. It was great to be there to see Diane Humetewa and family and note that on the reservation there were many other family members watching that hearing being streamed and being proud that the first female Native American would be on the Federal bench. ... It was a pleasure working with Senator McCain and with the White House and the President in bringing these nominations forward. I urge my colleagues to vote both for cloture and for final confirmation of these three judges today and hopefully the other three tomorrow or later. I appreciate the President making these nominations. Arizona has waited a long time to fill these judgeships and we are pleased to do so this week."

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, Flake & Senate Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony On Arizona Nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 01/28/14
In Tuesday's hearing, Flake acknowledged the urgency of filling the vacancies. "I can tell you talking to those serving on the bench in Arizona right now, they are happy to see the caseload cut in half as we go," said Flake. "It's better this year than last, but boy you are sure going to help."

Sen. Flake on Home-State Senator Blue Slips for Nominees to fill six Arizona Emergency Federal Judicial Vacancies
(Republican - Arizona) 12/19/13
"Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told The Arizona Republic last week that he was holding on to his “blue slips” for the previous nominees until the White House followed through with one more promised name. The blue slips are a traditional way for home-state senators to weigh in on nominations that affect their constituents. Flake’s office confirmed Thursday that Soto’s was the nomination Flake was awaiting."

Sen. Flake joins bipartisan proposed new judgeships amendment to immigration bill
(Republican - Arizona) 05/07/13
Amendment intended to be proposed to S. 744, the comprehensive immigration bill would create three new judgeships in the Eastern District of California; two in the District of Arizona; two in the Western District of Texas; one in the Southern District of Texas, and would convert to permanent judgeships one existing temporary judgeship in the District of Arizona and one in the Central District of California.

Sen. Flake on Holds and Filibusters
(Republican - Arizona) 01/25/13
"Frankly for someone like me with my leanings and my philosophy, I think it's a more comfortable place to be, because it allows for more independence," he said. "In the House, the rules are really set up to protect the majority. In the Senate, they're set up to protect the individual. So it's a much different procedure, and I think I'll like it." The Senate's rules are there for good reasons and date back to nearly the country's founding days, Flake said, so they should not be changed easily. He favors keeping the filibuster as is to give the minority more power. The secret hold, in which an individual senator can freeze a presidential nominee without revealing himself and without saying why, also is a useful tool, but Flake said he will use it with caution. "I think the secret hold is often abused, though, by both parties," he said. "What I'd like to do is if I have a particular concern about a nominee or policy issue, then I'll let it be known. If there are holds that I place, I intend to make those public. I think it can be abused, has been abused. But I think these rules that allow individuals to have more power, on the whole are good.