Skip Navigation
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 145  12345Next

Sen. Warren speech: The Corporate Capture of the Federal Courts
(Democrat - Massachusetts) 06/13/13
"[T]here is an intense fight going on, right now, over what our federal courts will look like. It is a fight over whether those courts will remain a neutral forum, faithfully interpreting the law and dispensing fair and impartial justice – or whether we will see the corporate capture of the federal courts, with the courts transformed into one more rigged game.... I think diversity of experience matters.... Another important reason why we are at serious risk of losing this fight is the increasingly brazen and ideological pro-corporate tilt of our most important federal courts – especially the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit....And the next time you hear someone claim that the D.C. Circuit doesn’t need any more judges, you can remind them that the President with the most appointees sitting on the D.C.Circuit right now is Ronald Reagan. ... Above all, we must make judicial nominations a priority. It’s time for a new generation of judges, judges whose life experience extends beyond big firms, federal prosecution, and whitecollar defense. We need sustained pressure to get those judges in front of the Senate."

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy Following Today’s Supreme Court Arguments On The Affordable Care Act
(Democrat - Vermont) 03/27/12
“This historic law will protect some of our most vulnerable citizens by eliminating discriminatory practices by health insurers, ensuring that patient’s gender is no longer a pre-existing condition, reducing the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, and ensuring access to health insurance for young adults. I hope that the Supreme Court will not undo the progress we have made. Doing so would call into question the social safety net we built over the last century with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. “The Court should uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Congress considered this question when debating the law, and rejected that challenge. I would not have supported passage if I did not believe it was constitutional, nor would a majority of the Senate. I hope the Supreme Court will uphold the law and not seek to substitute its policy preferences for the legislative judgments of the people’s elected representatives.”

Sen. Harkin Following Supreme Court Oral Argument
(Democrat - Iowa) 03/27/12
“I am convinced after listening to the two hours this morning that this court can go no other way but to uphold the individual mandate that the Congress has put into the Affordable Care Act,” Harkin said.

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Supreme Court's Grant Of Cert On Challenge To The Affordable Care Act
(Democrat - Vermont) 11/14/11
“I am glad the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Affordable Care Act. Most appellate courts have upheld the constitutionality of this historic law, and when the Senate voted to pass the Affordable Care Act, it also voted specifically on its constitutionality. I hope the Supreme Court will defer to Congress in addressing this national problem.”

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."

Sen. DeMint: The Constitution is the precedent; Americans don't want their country reinvented
(Republican - South Carolina) 06/29/10
"Judges who rely on flawed precedent or their own "judgment" instead of the Constitution to justify their rulings can say "yes" to anything. This is precisely how liberal judges have rubber-stamped tyrannical actions by the government in the past and how they will do it in the future. On these grounds, I feel compelled to oppose Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court."

Sen. Leahy Opening Statement: Confirmation Hearing of Elena Kagan
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/28/10
"When we discuss the Constitution's commerce clause or spending power, we are talking about congressional authority to pass laws to ensure protection of our communities from natural and man-made disasters, to encourage clean air and water, to provide health care for all Americans, to ensure safe food and drugs, to protect equal rights, to enforce safe workplaces and to provide a safety net for seniors. This hearing is, accordingly, about the fundamental freedoms of all Americans."

Sen. Specter Comments on Elena Kagan
(Democrat - Pennsylvania) 05/10/10

Sen. Kaufman's Floor Statement on CITIZENS UNITED V. FEC
(Democrat - Delaware) 01/21/10
"he majority opinion in Citizens United should put the nail in the coffin of claims that ``judicial activism'' is a sin committed by judges of only one political stripe. ... The kind of judicial activism manifested in such cases represents such a radical departure from the proper role of this Court that it should be opposed whenever the opportunity arises. With the addition of Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., the conservative majority of the current Court has continued to be highly activist."

Senate Judiciary Chairman Leahy On The Constitutionality of the Health Insurance Reform Legislation
(Democrat - Vermont) 12/22/09
" In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Gonzales v. Raich that Congress had the power under the commerce clause to prohibit the use of medical marijuana even though it was grown and consumed at home, because of its impact on the national market for marijuana. Surely if that law passes constitutional muster, Congress’ actions to regulate the health care market that makes up one sixth of the American economy meets the test of substantially affecting commerce."

Sen. Leahy Floor Statement Supporting Nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor
(Democrat - Vermont) 08/04/09
"I believe that experience, perspective, an understanding of how the world works and how people live—how real people live and the effect decisions will have on the lives of people—these have to be very important qualifications. One need look no further than the Lilly Ledbetter and the Diana Levine cases to understand the impact each Supreme Court appointment has on the lives and freedoms of countless Americans.

Senator Collins announces intent to vote to support Sotomayor
(Republican - Maine) 07/21/09
"Based on her responses to the Judiciary Committee, she will avoid the temptation to usurp the legislative authority of the Congress and the executive authority of the President."

Senator Leahy comments on the Southwick Nomination
(Democrat - Vermont) 08/01/07
Senator Leahy's 08/01/07 Floor Statement on the nomination of Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit.

Senator Reid on Leslie Southwick Nomination
(Democrat - Nevada) 08/01/07
Floor Statement by Senator Reid responding to Senator McConnells comments on the Southwick Nomination.

Senator Obama speaks out on the nomination of Leslie Southwick
(Democrat - Illinois) 07/23/07
Senator Barack Obama opposes Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals