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Senate Confirms Rossiter to Nebraska Federal Bench; Sen. Fischer Praises Senate Vote Unanimously Confirming Rossiter as Federal Judge for District of Nebraska
(Republican - Nebraska) 06/27/16
Senator Fischer released the following statement: “I am thrilled to congratulate Bob Rossiter on his confirmation to the federal bench in Nebraska. As a federal judge, Rossiter will serve Nebraska with integrity, professionalism, and dedication to the rule of law. I wish him all the best during his service to our state and our nation.” ... on October 29, 2015, the committee voted to approve his nomination and send it to the full Senate for consideration.

Sen. Leahy: SCOTUS Deadlocks Show The Cost Of GOP Obstruction
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/27/16
"The eight-member Supreme Court has failed to resolve cases on the merits seven times since February .... Those deadlocks and repeated failures to resolve cases, Leahy said, are the direct result of Senate Republicans who continue to refuse to give a hearing and a vote to Chief Judge Merrick Garland who would fill a critical vacancy on the Supreme Court.... At the lower courts, vacancies, including emergency vacancies, continue to rise because of Republican obstruction of judicial nominees. Senate Republicans have allowed just 20 judicial nominees to be confirmed since taking over the majority last year. In sharp contrast, the Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed 68 judicial nominees in the last two years of President Bush’s tenure. Judicial vacancies have nearly doubled since Republicans took control of the Senate. Today, there are 83 judicial vacancies, from the Supreme Court to district courts throughout the country. At this same point in President George W. Bush’s final year in office, a Democratic Senate majority worked to reduce judicial vacancies to just 39. The same Democratically-controlled Senate also confirmed 28 nominees in 2008, including 10 in September of that election year. Leahy called on Republicans to consider all pending nominees so that the Federal judiciary can fully function. “It is the Senate’s duty to ensure that our independent judiciary can function,” he said. “Based on the deadlocks and delays we have seen, it is clear that Senate Republicans are not acting responsibly. Senate Republicans must act on Chief Judge Garland’s nomination, as well as the 25 judicial nominations that are languishing on the Senate floor.”

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 22, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/22/16

SEN. HOEVEN INTRODUCES JENNIFER PUHL AT SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING: Puhl Nominated For Seat on 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
(Republican - North Dakota) 06/21/16
Senator John Hoeven today introduced Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Puhl, who has been nominated to serve on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hoeven encouraged the committee to approve Puhl’s nomination and said she is well qualified for the position. “Jennifer Puhl is well qualified to serve on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and we support her nomination,” said Hoeven. “As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, she has focused on prosecuting crimes involving child exploitation, sex offender registration, human trafficking and crimes on the Indian reservations. Puhl has a reputation for being nonpartisan and enjoys broad support on both sides of the aisle. I encourage the committee to recommend her for confirmation to the 8th Circuit.”

Sen. Franken at Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing
(Democrat - Minnesota) 06/21/16
Senate Democrats have repeatedly criticized their colleagues over delays on emergency positions, and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., noted Tuesday there are 26 pending nominations at the committee, both emergency and nonemergency. After committee votes last week to advance four judges, more than 20 are also waiting for votes on the Senate floor. Franken criticized the Senate's delays on nominees, including the nomination of D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.

Sens. Crapo and Risch on Floor time for Idaho district court nominee
(Republican - Idaho) 06/21/16
The Judiciary Committee didn’t vote on Tuesday. After it does, Crapo and Risch will work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to schedule floor time for Nye, said Risch spokeswoman Suzanne Wrasse. Crapo spokesman Lindsay Nothern said he hopes Nye is confirmed before the Senate recesses in mid-July, and Graham gave no indication any of the nominees who appeared before the committee Tuesday would get held up. “I just think all three of you should be proud of your accomplishments,” he said. “I’ll do everything I can to move you through the process quickly.”

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On Judicial Nominations June 21 2016
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/21/16
"There is an urgent need for this Committee to hold more hearings for judicial nominees this year, for Chief Judge Garland and so many other long-pending nominees who would fill vacancies throughout the country. Since Republicans took over the majority last year, judicial vacancies have nearly doubled from 43 to 83. Of these, 30 are in courts so strained that the vacancies have been deemed “emergencies.” Despite these empty judgeships all over the country, Republicans have allowed just 20 judicial nominees to be confirmed since last year. Contrast that to the last two years of the Bush administration, when Senate Democrats were in the majority when we confirmed 68 judges, and judicial vacancies at the same time were half of what they are today. This Committee should be holding additional hearings this year to consider the 26 other judicial nominees pending, including additional circuit court nominees. In the last two years of the Bush administration, I had already held hearings on eight circuit court nominees by this time, and all eight of those nominees were subsequently confirmed – by a Democratically-controlled Senate. Under Republican leadership, this Committee will have considered only four circuit court nominees after today. We should be considering the nominee for an emergency vacancy on Ninth Circuit, which is by far the busiest Federal appeals court. Judge Lucy Koh, who currently serves on the Federal district court in California, was nominated to that vacancy four months ago. She has the endorsement of several Republicans and conservative leaders .... We should be immediately taking up the 26 judicial nominees pending on the floor."

Sens. Crapo, Risch, Deliver Nye Nomination to Senate Judiciary Committee: Idaho’s Senators Introduce Judge Nye to Senate Colleagues at Nomination Hearing
(Republican - Idaho) 06/21/16
The nominee, Idaho Sixth District Judge David C. Nye of Pocatello, was introduced by both Senators to their colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first step toward his confirmation. “I appreciate the opportunity to join Senator Risch in offering our enthusiastic support for Judge David Nye on his nomination to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Idaho,” said Crapo during his introduction of Nye. “I strongly encourage this committee to approve Judge Nye’s nomination as soon as possible so that the people of Idaho can continue to be assured that they will be served by well qualified judges.” “I want to underscore the necessity of moving Judge Nye’s nomination along,” said Risch. “I know things around here don’t move quickly, and I also know that they are governed by longstanding traditions, but Senator Crapo and I have worked diligently to attempt to fill this seat. We have enthusiastic support from Senator Crapo and myself, and also from President Obama. We would urge passage of this nomination as quickly as possible and I think you’ll be well pleased with Judge Nye when you hear him testify here.”... Both Crapo and Risch will continue to work with the Senate Judiciary Committee to advance Judge Nye’s nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.

ID Sens. on district court nominee & need to create new judgeship
(Republican - Idaho) 06/21/16
Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch introduced Nye to the committee, highlighted his credentials and unanimous well-qualified rating from the American Bar Association, and urged the panel not only to swiftly approve his nomination, but also to consider their legislation to give Idaho a third federal district judgeship. “It’s been a while since Idaho senators have appeared before this committee,” Crapo said, “as Idaho is one of only three states having just two authorized district court judgeships. The nonpartisan Judicial Conference of the United States has declared a judicial emergency for Idaho and has recommended in every one of its reports to Congress since 2003 that Idaho be authorized for a third district court judgeship. Unfortunately, the last time Congress authorized any new judgeships, district judgeships, for any state was in 2002. So we just missed out.” “The result is that we have a three-judge caseload state being handled by two judges,” Crapo told the committee. “And since last July, when Judge (Edward) Lodge took senior status, creating the vacancy we are seeking to address today, we have been a three caseload state being handled by only one active judge.” “What’s even more challenging,” Crapo said, “is that our one remaining active judge, (Judge B. Lynn Winmill,) is eligible to take senior status this coming March. I look forward to working with the committee to pass the legislation that Sen. Risch and I have introduced, to authorize a third district court judgeship for Idaho, to prevent any such emergency from happening in the future. But first, I strongly encourage this committee to approve Judge Nye’s nomination as soon as possible, so that the people of Idaho can continue to be assured that they will be served by well-qualified judges.” Risch seconded that. “I know that things around here don’t move quickly, and I also know that they are governed by longstanding traditions, but Sen. Crapo and I have worked diligently to fill this seat,” he said. “As we all know, Idaho is a conservative state, and we have an administration that is not so much, and so the challenge was great. But I would say this: I would commend the White House for the way this was handled. We worked incredibly well with President Obama’s staff in the give-and-take that’s necessary to fill the spot. And we went through dozens and dozens of applicants to finally arrive at Judge Nye. And where we are right now is we have enthusiastic support from Sen. Crapo and myself and also from President Obama.”

Sen. Heitkamp: Fargo Native, 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Nominee Jennifer Puhl Testifies at Senate Hearing [VIDEO]
(Democrat - North Dakota) 06/21/16
Current Assistant U.S. Attorney for North Dakota and nominee to serve as a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Jennifer Puhl testifies in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Judiciary hearing on her nomination on June 21, 2016.

Senators Crapo and Risch Introduce Judge David Nye [Video}
(Republican - Idaho) 06/21/16
On Tuesday, June 21, Senators Crapo and Risch introduced Sixth District Judge David Nye of Pocatello, to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judge Nye has been nominated to be Idaho’s next U.S. District Court judge.

Sens. Tim Scott & Lindsey Graham at Judiciary Committee hearing on South Carolina district court nominee
(Republican - South Carolina) 06/21/16
Sen. Scott: "I offer my endorsement of Mr. Coggins because we need qualified judges in our federal system and in my home state of South Carolina and Mr. Coggins certainly fits the bill.... and the American Bar Association has rated him unanimously well qualified for this position. It is my privilege today to endorse Mr. Coggins before this Committee." Sen. Graham: "I'd like to associate myself with those comments of Sen. Scott. We've got a good nominee on our hands here. ..." [and at end of hearing he chaired] "I will do everything I can to move you through the process quickly because we need more judges but more importantly we need good judges, and I think you will fit that bill."

Sen. Schumer introduces district court nominee Kathleen Marie Sweet at Judiciary Committee hearing
(Democrat - New York) 06/21/16
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who recommended that President Barack Obama nominate Sweet, offered effusive praise while introducing her to the committee. “From the first time I met her, I knew we had found someone who would be an exceptional judge,” Schumer said. Schumer said Sweet has “the kind of temperament we look for in judges,” meaning she would be an even-tempered, deliberate and moderate approach to interpreting the law from the bench. The senator also noted that Sweet served in the public sector at the New York State Appellate Division and at Damon Morey, Brown & Tarantino, and Gibson, McAskill & Crosby, both prominent Buffalo law firms. “Wherever she has gone, accolades have followed,” Schumer said. Sweet would be the first female district court judge to serve in Buffalo, although Carole Heckman served as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. Sweet would replace U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny, who has moved to senior status. Schumer urged that the Senate quickly confirm Sweet, noting that her services are needed on the bench in Buffalo. “I’d like to remind the Chairman and my colleagues that the Western District of New York is also in desperate need of judges, period,” he said. “The WDNY has one of the longest backlogs of civil and criminal cases in the country.”

Sen. Heitkamp Introduces Jennifer Puhl at U.S. Senate Hearing to Serve as Judge on 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
(Democrat - North Dakota) 06/21/16
If approved by the Committee and then the full U.S. Senate, Puhl will be the first female confirmed to a lifetime appointment in a North Dakota judicial seat.... “For nearly a decade and a half, Jennifer Puhl has been a true champion of North Dakota’s most vulnerable – working to protect exploited children and victims of human trafficking, and going after criminals who attempt to operate with impunity in Indian Country,” Heitkamp. “Today I had the unique honor of introducing her as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee considered her nomination to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and it’s my hope the Committee will quickly learn why she is so qualified for this position and approve her nomination. Jennifer’s years of trial work as well as her skilled legal mind and strong moral character have enabled her to effectively handle some of the most difficult cases dealing with human trafficking and child pornography in North Dakota. She also has experience prosecuting crimes on Indian reservations and understands the complex challenges facing Indian Country. Jennifer has never shied away from a case because it is too hard, and our state is better off for it – and her outstanding work has earned the highest praise from law enforcement, victims of crime, and their families. Just as this Committee and the U.S. Senate should approve Jennifer’s nomination, they should also approve the nominations of many other top-notch judges who have been waiting to fill key judicial roles and make sure our justice system is able to fully function.”

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 20, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/20/16

U.S. SENATOR TAMMY BALDWIN CALLS ON MAJORITY LEADER MCCONNELL TO SCHEDULE FLOOR VOTE ON LONGEST STANDING FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT VACANCY: Don Schott’s nomination to 7th Circuit Court was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with strong bipartisan vote, now awaits a floor vote
(Democrat - Wisconsin) 06/20/16
“This Wisconsin seat on the Seventh Circuit has been vacant longer than any other federal circuit court judgeship, for more than six years. The people of my home state of Wisconsin, as well as our neighbors in Illinois and Indiana, deserve a fully-functioning federal appeals court to ensure the swift and thorough administration of justice,” Senator Baldwin wrote to Majority Leader McConnell. ... “Don Schott has received strong, bipartisan support throughout out this nomination process because he has the experience, qualifications and temperament to be an outstanding federal judge. He deserves the opportunity for due consideration on the Senate floor and I urge you to schedule a vote on his nomination at the earliest opportunity and without undue delay.”

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 17, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Iowa, Ohio, North Dakota, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/17/16

Sen. Heitkamp on Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on North Dakota Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals nominee
(Democrat - North Dakota) 06/17/16
Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl, a federal prosecutor who has been nominated to a seat on the federal appeals court, will appear next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.... Both Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., support Puhl's nomination and will introduce her to the judiciary panel.... "The U.S. Senate has a duty to consider and vote on impeccable nominees like Jennifer," Heitkamp said in a statement. "It's my hope the committee quickly approves her nomination and sends it to the full Senate for confirmation, along with the dozens of other well-qualified judges needed to fill judicial vacancies throughout the country."

Sen. Hoeven on Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on North Dakota Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals nominee
(Republican - North Dakota) 06/17/16
Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl, a federal prosecutor who has been nominated to a seat on the federal appeals court, will appear next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.... Both Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., support Puhl's nomination and will introduce her to the judiciary panel.... "(Hoeven) believes she's qualified and will be supporting her nomination," said the senator's spokesman, Don Canton, earlier this week.

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/16/16
"Today the Committee will vote on four judicial nominees, three of which would fill judicial emergency vacancies. Once they are reported out, we will have 26 judicial nominees pending on the Senate floor. These nominees will fill vacancies in courts around the country, and yet there is little to no progress on confirming these nominees. In a stunning disregard of our Federal Judiciary, Republicans have stood by while judicial vacancies have piled up. When Senate Republicans took over the majority last year, there were 43 judicial vacancies, 12 of which were emergency vacancies. Because of Republicans’ refusal to do their jobs, vacancies have nearly doubled to 83, and emergency vacancies have nearly tripled to 30. Instead of addressing this judicial vacancy crisis, Republicans’ only response is to cite the number of judges confirmed during President Obama’s administration. But our job is not to hit some magic number and then pat ourselves on the back. Our job is to fill vacancies so that our justice system can function efficiently for Americans across the country. And Senate Republicans are failing. Republicans are also failing our justice system and the American people by refusing to consider Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court."

Sen. Baldwin on Judiciary Committee advances Schott to federal appeals court
(Democrat - Wisconsin) 06/16/16
"I am proud to have pushed Don Schott's nomination forward because the people of Wisconsin and the entire Seventh Circuit deserve a fully functioning court," Baldwin said in a statement Thursday. "It is my hope that Senator Johnson will join me in calling on Majority Leader (Mitch) McConnell to schedule a floor vote so the Senate can confirm Don Schott without undue delay."

Republican Senators from 16 States Urge Immediate Action to Fill Their Judicial Vacancies (CO, FL, ID, IN, KS, LA; NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WI) (June 16, 2016)
(Republican - Colorado, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin) 06/16/16

Sens. Coats, Donnelly Praise Senate Judiciary Committee Vote on U.S. District Court Nominee Winfield Ong
(Republican - Indiana) 06/16/16
Senators Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) today praised the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to approve Winfield D. Ong to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Ong’s nomination will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration. “I applaud the committee’s vote to approve the nomination of Winfield Ong,” said Coats. “Given the ongoing judicial emergency in the Southern District of Indiana, this vacancy needs to be filled. Winfield Ong’s qualifications and outstanding record of public service make him the right person for this important position.” “I am pleased the Senate Judiciary Committee moved Winfield Ong’s nomination forward to the full Senate,” said Donnelly. “He is an excellent nominee and has demonstrated he has the experience, ability, and temperament necessary to serve Hoosiers well on the federal bench. I urge the Senate to hold a confirmation vote on Winfield Ong as soon as possible.”

Sen. Ron Johnson on Judiciary Committee approval of Seventh Circuit nominee Don Schott
(Republican - Wisconsin) 06/16/16
President Obama nominated Schott in January after he received a majority vote from a special panel established by Wisconsin Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin. Johnson objected to Obama's first 7th Circuit nominee in 2010, but earlier this year, he cleared the way for Schott's nomination to proceed. “I signed the blue slip recommending that the Judiciary Committee consider the nomination of Don Schott, which it reported out favorably today," Johnson said Thursday. "I congratulate Mr. Schott on his nomination’s progress.”

Sen. Grassley hopes Floor vote on New Jersey and Nebraska judicial nominees very shortly
(Republican - Iowa) 06/16/16
"I would hope that we could very shortly we could vote on two judges on the Floor because I had to approve the hotline of them; because I would approve hotlining anytime people ask me to, according to the order they came out of the Committee, New Jersey and Nebraska. Hopefully we get them up on the Floor."

Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley statement on judicial nominee hearings and confirmations at Committee business meeting
(Republican - Iowa) 06/16/16
"I think I want to do as much as I can to have hearings before a very loosely enforced and sometimes strictly enforced Leahy-Thurmond Rule kicks in so that the Committee is doing what we can do. When things come up on the Floor is somebody else's decision not mine....in 2014, 11 or 12 judges that went through in December ... so let's stop trying to predict the future; we don't know what the future is going to hold, and do what our job is, this is what I am doing."

ID Senators: Idaho Judicial Nominee Set for Hearing Next Week; Crapo, Risch will testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Judge Nye
(Republican - Idaho) 06/15/16
Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have secured a hearing for their selection of a new U.S. District Judge for Idaho. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday, June 21, on the nomination of Idaho District Judge David C. Nye of Pocatello to be Idaho’s next U.S. District Court judge. Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch will introduce Judge Nye when he appears before the committee next week. “I appreciate the Judiciary Committee recognizing and responding to Senator Risch and me by holding this hearing,” Crapo said. “Judge Nye’s combined experiences as a litigator and his service to Idaho’s state courts as a district judge make him extremely well-qualified to serve Idaho as our next federal district court judge. Judge Nye’s strong record of service shows Idaho will be well served by him joining the federal bench.” “After a long and very thorough process, Senator Crapo, the Obama Administration, and I agreed on Judge Nye to be considered as the next federal district court judge in Idaho,” said Risch. “Judge Nye is a sound and principled jurist and I look forward to this next step of the process as he sits before the Judiciary Committee.”

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Executive Business Meeting
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/09/16
"There is a judicial vacancy crisis, including a critical vacancy on our Nation’s highest court. Republicans should allow Chief Judge Garland a public hearing and a confirmation vote this month. They should also allow an up or down vote on the 22 judicial nominees who have been reported favorably by this Committee."

Sen. Rubio on Mary Barzee Flores district court nomination
(Republican - Florida) 06/08/16
“I have concerns about two of the answers she gave during her process through the JNC. They did not reflect the answers she later gave to the Judiciary Committee in their review of her, including her role in a particular case. And that right there is going to make it almost impossible for her to get confirmed,” Rubio said Monday ... “We have a judicial emergency in South Florida,” Rubio told WFTV’s Christopher Heath. “We cannot waste time with a nominee that is not going to get a vote with the committee and is not going to be approved.”

Sen. McConnell blocks Floor votes on 15 district court nominees the Judiciary Committee approved on voice votes
(Republican - Kentucky) 06/08/16
"[w]e continue to process judicial nominations, and we have done so even when a majority of the Republican conference did not support the nominee, as was the case with the district court nominee from Maryland, whom we confirmed before the recess.... We will continue to process his judicial nominations, but the minority is not going to dictate to the majority when and how we will do so."