SENS. CRAPO, RISCH PRAISE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF JUDGE DAVID NYE: NOMINATION REPORTED TO THE FULL SENATE FOR CONSIDERATION
(Republican - Idaho)
"I thank Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein for prompt action on Judge Nye’s nomination. I welcomed the opportunity to reintroduce Judge Nye to my colleagues and appreciate the unanimous approval by the Committee,” said Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The panel’s endorsement of Judge Nye last year and today demonstrates his strong credentials and outstanding service to the legal community. I will be working closely with my Senate colleagues to advance Judge Nye through the full Senate and hope he can be confirmed quickly.”
"I am grateful to my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, including Mike Crapo, for making Judge Nye’s approval a priority on their panel. Judge Nye is a sound and principled jurist who has my full confidence. I look forward to seeing his nomination come before the full Senate, where I will strongly advocate for his confirmation."
Judge Nye has been nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the open U.S. District Court judgeship in Idaho. He was previously nominated to the same position by President Obama in 2016 and was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 114th Congress concluded without completing the confirmation process. The Trump administration, in consultation with both Crapo and Risch, re-nominated Judge Nye
Grassley Statement at Executive Business Meeting on District Court Nominations
(Republican - Iowa)
"We’ll vote on two District Court Judges today: David Nye for Idaho [and] Scott Palk for the Western District of Oklahoma.
These nominees were nominated by President Obama last year and we held a hearing for them then. When they were re-nominated by President Trump this year, I gave Members who were not on the Committee last Congress an opportunity to ask them written questions if they wanted to, just like I did in the past for President Obama’s nominees. Both these nominees have strong home state support and were reported out of this Committee last Congress by voice vote."
Sen. Crapo on Judge Nye vote pending in panel
(Republican - Idaho)
Idaho Judge David Nye’s nomination to be the state’s next federal district judge is on the agenda for the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, and it appears a committee vote is likely. Nye already won unanimous approval from the committee after a hearing in June of 2016, but the nomination never came up for a vote in the full Senate. Last month, at the urging of Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, President Trump re-nominated Nye.
Idaho has been down to just one active federal district judge since longtime Judge Edward Lodge took senior status on July 3, 2015. The federal court system has declared a judicial emergency in Idaho due to the shortage of judges, and visiting judges have been brought in from other states to hear cases.
Lindsay Nothern, Crapo’s press secretary, said he expects a voice vote in the committee to approve Nye. “He’s been through the process before. We do expect his nomination to move forward,” Nothern said.
Crapo and Risch negotiated with the Obama Administration for a year and a half before settling on Nye as a nominee acceptable to both President Obama, a Democrat, and the two Idaho senators, both Republicans. The long process included considering and rejecting dozens of other possible nominees.
Sens. Carper and Coons Move on Federal Court Vacancies
(Democrat - Delaware)
As Delaware's Democratic senators move ahead with a bipartisan committee to vet potential candidates for two openings on the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, the White House has not initiated a formal process for reviewing applicants, sources said this week.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Tom Carper confirmed Wednesday that the state's senior senator had sent letters to a roster of attorneys who had expressed interest in filling the seats being vacated by District Court Judges Sue L. Robinson and Gregory M. Sleet, asking the applicants to confirm their interest in the positions.... The spokeswoman, Katie Wilson, described the correspondence as a "joint effort" by Carper and Sen. Chris Coons—who sits on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee—to elicit more information before bringing applicants in for interviews with the committee, which is modeled off of Delaware's system for vetting judicial nominees at the state-court level.
According to sources, potential candidates were also asked to fill out a formal questionnaire that the Judiciary Committee uses to review applicants for federal judgeships.
A timeline for the review process was not immediately clear, but Wilson said the senators hope to "move expeditiously."
Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley, Prepared Statement, Executive Business Meeting
(Republican - Iowa)
"Several nominees are on the agenda for the first time today, and I understand the other side would like to hold them over. They include two district court nominees:
- David Nye for Idaho
- Scott Palk for the Western District of Oklahoma
These nominees were nominated by President Obama last year and we held a hearing for them then. When they were re-nominated by President Trump this year, I gave Members who were not on the Committee last Congress an opportunity to ask them written questions if they wanted
to, just like I did in the past for President Obama’s nominees. I look forward to voting their nominations out of Committee next week."
Brown, Portman Announce Members of Bipartisan Commission to Recommend Candidates for Judicial Vacancies in Ohio’s Southern and Northern Districts
(Democrat - Ohio)
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today announced the members of the bipartisan judiciary advisory commission that will assist them in identifying the best candidates to fill vacancies on the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio. ... The bipartisan advisory commission process was first established by Sen. Brown and former U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), and Sens. Portman and Brown have carried on the tradition.... The President of the United States nominates U.S. district court judges based on recommendations from U.S. senators.
Portman, Brown Announce Members of Bipartisan Commission to Recommend Candidates for Judicial Vacancies in Ohio's Southern and Northern Districts
(Republican - Ohio)
Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced the members of the bipartisan judiciary advisory commission that will assist them in identifying the best candidates to fill vacancies on the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio. ... The bipartisan advisory commission process was first established by Sen. Brown and former U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), and Sens. Portman and Brown have carried on the tradition.... The President of the United States nominates U.S. district court judges based on recommendations from U.S. senators.
Delaware U.S. Senators on filling two district court vacancies
(Democrat - Delaware)
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, who is the state's senior senator; and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, who sits on the powerful Judiciary Committee, have tried to gain leverage in the process to fill out the court. Carper has put out multiple calls for interested Republicans to apply for the post, while Coons has talked about establishing an independent, bipartisan commission to vet potential nominees.
Sens. Durbin, Duckworth Announce Screening Committees For Judicial, U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal Nominations
(Democrat - Illinois)
“These screening committees combine deep legal and judicial experience from across our state. These distinguished Illinoisans will help advise Senator Duckworth and me as we evaluate candidates for some of the most important jobs in Illinois,” said Durbin. “I thank the members of the screening committees for their willingness to serve.”
“I take my constitutional responsibility to advise and consent seriously. The knowledge, insight and expertise of each of the screening committee members will be invaluable as Senator Durbin and I consider nominees to fill critical positions in the judicial system," said Duckworth. "I thank the members for their commitment to serving the people of Illinois.”
The Senators’ screening committees will review candidates identified by the Trump Administration and the Illinois Republican Congressional delegation for vacant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and federal judgeship positions. Once the President submits a nomination to the U.S. Senate, the nominee will be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Durbin is a member, and will receive a vote in the committee. The approval of both home state Senators is required for the Senate Judiciary Committee to take up and consider any U.S. Attorney, U.S. Marshal, and federal district or circuit court nominee.
Sens. Rubio, Nelson Introduce Bill Authorizing Additional Florida Judgeships
(Republican - Florida)
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today introduced the Florida Federal Judicial Relief Act, legislation that would authorize one, six, and three additional judgeships in the northern, middle, and southern districts of Florida, respectively. The bill also converts an existing judgeship from temporary to permanent for the southern district of Florida. These proposals are based on the recommendations of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which is the national policy-making body for the federal courts and makes recommendations on judgeships every two years.
“The overwhelming caseload facing our judges is an undue burden for both our judicial system and the people of Florida,” said Rubio. “By following the recommendations of the Judicial Conference in authorizing these judgeships, we can help ensure a more efficient judicial system. I am proud to introduce this bill with Senator Nelson and look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to authorize these important judgeships for Florida as it will have short and long term benefits for our judges and residents.”
[Sen. Nelson] Rubio, Nelson Introduce Bill Authorizing Additional Florida Judgeships
(Democrat - Florida)
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today introduced the Florida Federal Judicial Relief Act, legislation that would authorize one, six, and three additional judgeships in the northern, middle, and southern districts of Florida, respectively. The bill also converts an existing judgeship from temporary to permanent for the southern district of Florida. These proposals are based on the recommendations of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which is the national policy-making body for the federal courts and makes recommendations on judgeships every two years.... “Florida’s federal courts are some of the busiest in the country,” said Nelson. “This bill will help provide Floridians with better access to our legal system.”
Congresswoman Norton: In Setback for D.C. Equality, Trump Nominates D.C. Federal Judge Without Consulting D.C.’s Only Federal Representative
(Democrat - District of Columbia)
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that, although she requested consultation, the Trump Administration has nominated Dabney Friedrich to the District Court for the District of Columbia without consulting Norton, which was the practice of the last Republican administration, under President George W. Bush. In March, Norton wrote President Trump asking for the courtesy of consultation on federal law enforcement officials nominated to serve the District of Columbia. Presidents Clinton and Obama extended Norton the courtesy to recommend these officials in the same manner as Democratic senators. Norton is still reviewing what is known of Friedrich’s nomination, but said that she had no information to question the nomination. She said that D.C.’s lack of representation in the Senate is particularly unfair for nominations of federal officials who serve the District, including judges .... Under Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA), like his immediate predecessor and some prior chairmen, the committee has not considered nominees for federal judge, U.S. attorney, or U.S. Marshal unless both home-state senators, regardless of party, consent to the nominee moving forward. ... “Considering that the President and I are not in the same party, I did not request to recommend nominees, but instead asked for consultation courtesy, using the precedent under the Bush Administration, which informed me of the candidate before a nomination, solicited my opinion, and even gave me the courtesy of interviewing the candidates,” Norton said. “I never had occasion to differ on the president’s selection. District of Columbia residents have no representation in the U.S. Senate, but they pay the highest federal taxes per capita in the United States to support their country. They should not be denied a say on the federal officials nominated to serve them. I urge Trump officials to reconsider the process they used for this selection and give our residents a voice by consulting with me on future selections of federal officials who serve this city, as the Bush Administration did.”
SENS. CRAPO, RISCH WELCOME WHITE HOUSE NOMINATION OF JUDGE DAVID NYE: NYE NOMINATED TO SERVE AS IDAHO’S NEXT U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
(Republican - Idaho)
Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch today welcomed the nomination of Idaho District Judge David C. Nye of Pocatello by President Donald Trump to fill the open U.S. District Court judgeship in Idaho. Judge Nye was previously nominated to the same position by President Obama in 2016 and approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 114th Congress concluded without completing the confirmation process. The Trump administration, in consultation with both Crapo and Risch, re-nominated Judge Nye as one of the first district judicial nominations sent to the Senate by the White House.
“I thank the President for moving quickly to renominate Judge Nye. His unanimous approval by the Judiciary Committee last year demonstrates Judge Nye’s eminent qualifications of strong credentials and service to the legal community,” said Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing the nomination. “According to the Judicial Conference, Idaho, like many other states, is facing a judicial emergency and needs a second District Court judge to help manage its caseload. I will be working with my colleagues to move Judge Nye’s confirmation and hope that he will be confirmed quickly.”
"Today's announcement is a win for Idahoans and our state's judicial system," said Senator Risch. "Judge Nye is a sound and principled jurist who has my full confidence. I will continue to work with my colleagues to have his nomination confirmed as expeditiously as possible, as I have since day one."
Sen. Hatch on filling Utah federal district court vacancy
(Republican - Utah)
Even with the announcement of the new nominees, other Republicans are eager for the Trump White House to send more candidates for the judiciary, particularly for vacancies in their home states.
“We’re concerned,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee. There is one judicial vacancy in Utah, which has been open since 2014. “We’ve already made our suggestions. They know that we’re interested in getting that taken care of.”
Sens. Inhofe, Lankford Applaud Nomination of Scott Palk for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
(Republican - Oklahoma)
Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford (R-Okla.) today applauded President Trump’s nomination of Judge Scott Palk to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma .
“By nominating Scott Palk to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, President Trump is upholding his campaign promise to nominate to the federal bench principled jurists who are committed to enforcing the Constitution’s limits on federal power,” Inhofe said. “Scott has an extensive record of distinguished service both a prosecutor and as an assistant dean and assistant general counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He is well known in Oklahoma for his honesty, integrity and his fair and balanced approach in applying the law. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate on his quick and fair confirmation.”
“Scott is a great candidate to serve as a federal judge for the US District Court for Oklahoma because of his dedication to uphold the rule of law,” Lankford said. “Scott’s years of work in Oklahoma make him exceptionally qualified to serve as one of Oklahomans federal judges, and I applaud President Trump for nominating a strong candidate that will represent our state and nation well.”
Idaho Senators feel Judge Nye renomination could expedite confirmation
(Republican - Idaho)
In Idaho, Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, had urged the Trump administration to re-up Nye's nomination this year, Crapo said in an interview last week.
“He’s already been through an FBI process and through the [American Bar Association] process,” Crapo said of Nye. “And so although there probably has to be a short, quick redo of that, we feel [the confirmation] could be expedited.”
Sen. Rubio Press Release: Carlos López-Cantera to Chair Statewide Panel Vetting Federal Judicial Candidates
(Republican - Florida)
Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) will once again constitute the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) to identify highly qualified individuals as finalists to become U.S. district judges in each of the three judicial districts in Florida. ... “I am extremely pleased to have Carlos López-Cantera serve as statewide chair of Florida’s Federal Judicial Nominating Commission,” said Rubio. “Carlos is well-suited for this position and I am confident he is dedicated to this important process and will successfully lead the commission in identifying exceptional candidates to serve on the federal bench in Florida. I look forward to reviewing the commission’s selections and working with Senator Nelson and the president to ensure that these critical positions are filled.”... The commission will send the names of the finalists to Senators Rubio and Nelson for their individual and independent review and, if neither senator objects, those names will be forwarded to the White House for the president’s consideration.
Both senators reserve their constitutional rights to render advice and consent on any candidate or nominee.
Sen. Bill Cassidy forms panel to vet judicial, U.S. attorney nominees; [Sen.] John Kennedy goes it alone
(Republican - Louisiana)
"[O]pen jobs include 129 seats on the federal bench, of which four are in district courts in Louisiana. ... Cassidy has appointed a team to vet candidates. The group is led by his brother, lawyer David Cassidy .... David Cassidy said the committee has not yet started vetting candidates for the various open positions, in part because it’s been difficult to get the whole group in one room at the same time.
Kennedy, meanwhile, is doing his own vetting, according to a spokeswoman."
Sen. Risch on White House agrees to re-nominate Judge Nye for long-vacant Idaho federal judgeship
(Republican - Idaho)
The White House has signed off on the re-nomination of Idaho Judge David Nye to fill Idaho’s long-vacant federal district judgeship, Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch said Thursday.... Nye won unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee last June, but his nomination never came up for a vote in the full Senate ... Though Crapo and Risch continued pushing for the Idaho nomination, they had to start over after the election, to get new President Donald Trump to sign on.
"We have been in constant communication with the White House regarding Judge Nye," Risch said Thursday. "The White House has assured us that he will be in the first wave of judges to advance, and we anticipate that happening soon."
Sen. Crapo on White House agrees to re-nominate Nye for long-vacant Idaho judgeship
(Republican - Idaho)
“The White House has told me that Judge Nye will be included in the very first group of district judicial nominees that it sends to the Senate,” Crapo said. “While I have yet to be given a definitive timeline for that renomination, I will be active in ushering Judge Nye through the Judiciary Committee once his nomination is received.” Nye won unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee last June, but his nomination never came up for a vote in the full Senate, ..... Though Crapo and Idaho Sen. Jim Risch continued pushing for the Idaho nomination, they had to start over after the election, to get new President Donald Trump to sign on.... “He previously appeared before and was unanimously approved by the Judiciary Committee,” Crapo said, “so I will be working with my colleagues to move his renomination quickly.”
Judiciary Committee Member Sen. Lindsey Graham hopes blue slip process does not change
(Republican - South Carolina)
Also unclear is whether the traditional practice will persist in which both senators from a state, regardless of party, consult with the White House on a nominee and then have to approve of the nominee for the Senate Judiciary Committee to move forward.... Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a committee member, says he thinks the future of the bipartisan process is "the real fight" going forward. He says he hopes it doesn't change.
"I think there's a lot of desire to keep that power within the Senate," he said.
Report: Sen. Schumer on NY federal judicial nominee Senate Judiciary Committee approved unanimously in 2016
(Democrat - New York)
[S]enators can use a "blue slip" veto to block judicial nominees from their home state. That tradition gives Schumer and other Democratic senators more leverage over home-state federal court appointments.
Schumer declined to comment for this article, but he has remained adamant that the judicial nominee he recommended to then-President Barack Obama for the post in Buffalo, Kathleen Sweet, be confirmed as Buffalo's next federal judge.
"Sen. Schumer continues to support her candidacy," Jason Kaplan, a spokesman for Schumer, said earlier this month. "He believes that Kathleen Sweet, a talented lawyer who has a deep commitment to Buffalo, a city where she was born and raised, would still be an outstanding nominee."
Sens. Murray and Cantwell Reaffirm Bipartisan Choices for Western District Vacancies
(Democrat - Washington)
Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statements after forwarding the candidates selected by Washington state’s bipartisan judicial selection committee to the Trump Administration:
Senator Murray: “On Wednesday I talked to White House Counsel Don McGahn about the urgent need to fill the vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, as well the importance and strong history of our state’s bipartisan judicial selection process. I reminded him that the bipartisan selection process that Senator Cantwell, Rep. Reichert, and I set up in 2015 to fill these vacancies had already done the work of screening candidates and had come up with a list of five highly qualified candidates that were sent to the previous Administration. Per his request, I followed up today to reaffirm the list of highly qualified candidates that had been selected by our bipartisan committee. I am glad that this Administration is taking steps to continue this important bipartisan process, and I look forward to the President nominating judges from our bipartisan list as quickly as possible.”
Senators Cantwell and Murray Reaffirm Bipartisan Choices for Western District Vacancies
(Democrat - Washington)
Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA)and Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statements after forwarding the candidates selected by Washington state’s bipartisan judicial selection committee to the Trump Administration:
Senator Cantwell: “This bipartisan judicial selection committee is so important to our judicial system. It helps ensure an independent, bottom-up process to identify qualified, mainstream judicial nominees. I hope President Trump will continue to use our bipartisan process and nominate one of these highly qualified candidates selected by this committee to reflect the voice and values of our state.”... Following long-standing Washington state tradition, and in order to ensure a bipartisan process to fill vacant seats on the federal courts, Sens. Murray and Cantwell joined Rep. Reichert in July of 2015 to create a new judicial selection committee to evaluate interested candidates. The committee, comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans from Western Washington, screened potential candidates and presented its choice of the most highly-qualified to Murray and Cantwell, who then forwarded the names to President Obama.
Sen. Toomey supports renomination of Obama judicial nominee
(Republican - Pennsylvania)
On whether he would support a renomination of U.S. Magistrate Susan Paradise Baxter, a Democrat from Erie, to fill Erie’s vacant federal judge seat. Toomey supported Baxter when President Barack Obama nominated her in 2015, but with a new president, the process to fill vacancies has reset:
“I am supportive. I went to great lengths to try to get Judge Baxter across the line. We weren’t quite able to do that. But we’ll have another opportunity.”
Sen. Coons on filling Delaware district court vacancy
(Democrat - Delaware)
Sen. Christopher A. Coons, Delaware Democrat, said he has had a “very constructive conversation about the path forward” with the administration about filling the one district court opening in his home state.
Sen. Grassley on circuit and district court nominee blue slip requirement
(Republican - Iowa)
One hurdle is the “blue slip” process, in which senators are asked to review judicial nominees who are slated to take seats in their home states. If both senators from the state don’t return their blue slips, the nomination is usually put on hold.
Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, told reporters Friday that although “there’s been some exception to the blue slip rule,” he generally intends to follow the tradition for Mr. Trump’s nominees.
Rep. Norton Asks the President for Courtesy of Consultation on Federal Law Enforcement Officials in D.C.
(Democrat - District of Columbia)
The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released Norton’s letter to President Donald Trump requesting that he extend her the courtesy of consulting on the appointment of the U.S. Attorney, federal district court judges and other Senate-confirmed federal law enforcement officials in the District of Columbia—the same courtesy extended to her by President George W. Bush.... In her letter, Norton wrote, “Since the District has no senators, presidents of both parties have provided me a role in the nomination of federal district court judges and Senate-confirmed federal law enforcement officials in the District. As a member of the same political party, Presidents Clinton and Obama extended me the courtesy to recommend such officials in the same manner as Democratic senators…As a member of a different political party, President George W. Bush extended me the courtesy to consult on nominations.”
Sens. Bill Nelson and Rubio letter asks President Trump to keep judicial picks they sent to Obama
(Democrat - Florida)
"For the past several decades, Florida's US. Senators have worked in a bipartisan manner to provide finalists for US. District Court vacancies in our state. These finalists are recommended by the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission of Florida. Comprised of leading lawyers throughout Florida and members of the general public, the INC conducts a thorough selection process that identifies finalists for such vacancies. On April 28, 2016, President Obama nominated Patricia Barksdale and William Jung for two US. District Court vacancies in the Middle District and Philip Lammens for the US. District Court vacancy in the Northern District. These individuals were all INC-recommended finalists, and we indicated our support for their confirmation by favorably submitting blue slips to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Because there was no timely action taken on these nominations last Congress, we
respectfully request that you nominate these highly qualified individuals for the US. District Court vacancies as soon as possible. We have no objections to these individuals, subject to any further review of their records and background. Moreover, timely action is needed as the two vacancies in the Middle District are considered judicial emergencies."