Skip Navigation
Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo
 

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Defenders of Wildlife

Senator Statements

 

Issue
Nominee
Senator
Senator's Party
Senator's State
 
Items 1 - 30 of 1039  12345678910Next

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Pending Nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/23/15
"Last week, the junior senator from Arkansas objected to a request to vote on any of the five nominations to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that have been awaiting confirmation for more than ten months. ... during the Bush administration, the Senate confirmed nine judges to the CFC – with the support of every Senate Republican. Only three CFC judges nominated by President Obama have received confirmation votes. This is the same double standard that Senate Republicans tried to apply to President Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominees .... Not a single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee raised a concern about the court’s caseload either during the Committee hearings on these nominations last year or during the Committee debate last year or this year. In blocking these five nominees, the junior senator from Arkansas ignores the Senate Judiciary Committee’s unanimous votes on these nominations in 2014 and again this year. He also disregards the Chief Judge who speaks on behalf of the entire court and the five past presidents of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association who have urged the Senate to fill these vacancies. In 2003, the now-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee engaged in a debate on the caseload of this court. He said then: “I feel it is unfair to these Court of Federal Claims nominees to deny them a seat by bringing up this point at this late date.” I hope that the junior senator from Arkansas will heed these words and remove his objection to an up or down vote on these nominees.... More than half a year into this new Congress, the Republican leadership has scheduled votes to confirm only five judicial nominees. This is in stark contrast to the 25 district and circuit court judges confirmed by July 23, 2007, when the shoe was on the other foot and Democrats had regained the Senate majority in the seventh year of the Bush administration."

Sen. Reid Remarks On Highway Legislation And Republican Obstruction Of Qualified Judicial Nominees
(Democrat - Nevada) 07/22/15
"So far this Congress, Republicans have confirmed only 5 judges. By this same point in the last Congress of George W. Bush’s presidency, under my leadership, the Senate had confirmed 25 judges. Republicans are being outpaced 5-to-1. And there are real repercussions when Republicans refuse to act. If there aren’t enough judges to hear the cases that are piling up, a vacant judgeship is declared a judicial emergency. At the beginning of the year, there were only 12 judicial emergencies that deserved priority attention. Yet in the mere 7 months of this Republican-controlled Senate, that number has doubled, and is on its way to tripling. As of today, there are 28 judicial emergencies – including four judges currently pending on the floor. There are real-life consequences of Republican obstruction. Each judge Republicans block, each nomination they slow-walk, results in justice delayed. And as the legal maxim goes: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”... Perhaps the junior Senator from Arkansas should ask the Chief Judge of the Court of Federal Claims if his Court does not need new judges. The Chief Judge has pleaded for the immediate filling of those 5 vacancies, since they are creating a caseload problem for the Court. But the freshman Senator from Arkansas had his mind made up, and blocked every attempt to confirm even a single judge.... Yesterday the Washington press took notice that blocking these judges coincidentally lined up with the interests a powerful conservative law firm that is currently representing clients before the court. A Roll Call headline says: “Cotton Blocks Judges on Court Familiar to His Former Law Firm.” I don’t mean to single out the Senator from Arkansas. After all, he’s just following the Republican leader’s example. There are currently 7 district court judges awaiting votes here on the Senate floor. All 7 were reported out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously, proving they are consensus, noncontroversial candidates. So why hasn’t the Republican Leader scheduled their confirmation votes? Four of those district judge nominees are classified as judicial emergencies"

Sen. Boxer Praises President Obama for Nominating Mark Young for California's Central District Court; Boxer Recommended the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge to the President
(Democrat - California) 07/16/15
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today praised President Obama for nominating Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark A. Young to serve as U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California. Senator Boxer recommended him to the President after a thorough interview and vetting process by a bipartisan judicial advisory committee. “I applaud the President for nominating Mark Young, an experienced judge and former federal prosecutor with a track record of handling tough criminal cases,” Senator Boxer said. “I urge my Senate colleagues to move swiftly to confirm him so he can begin serving the Central District, which has been designated a judicial emergency district.”

Sen. Coons request for Floor vote on all or any of five Court of Federal Claims nominees the Judiciary Committee approved on voice votes in 2014 and again in 2015
(Democrat - Delaware) 07/14/15
"[I]t is important for all of us in the Chamber to recognize that the Court of Federal Claims, while the actual number of cases considered may have decreased, faces a steadily increasing number of complex cases which are subject to statutory case management deadlines that drive the workload of the court and have roughly doubled in recent years from 68 back in 2005 to 113 last year and likely double that this year. So the actual number of cases may be declining, but their complexity and their workload, because of the need for them to be resolved in a certain period of time, have steadily increased ... we have a range of highly qualified nominees. Armando Bonilla would be the first Hispanic judge to hold a seat and has been with the Department of Justice. ... the President has nominated able and capable nominees and the court needs and deserves to not have to rely on senior status judges to meet its constitutional and statutory obligations."

Sen. Cotton blocks Sen. Coons request for Floor vote on all or any of five Court of Federal Claims nominees the Judiciary Committee approved on voice votes in 2014 and again in 2015
(Republican - Arkansas) 07/14/15
"[T]his is not so much about a particular nominee but the fact that the Court of Federal Claims is operating with 11 active judges, and when you include the senior judges ready, able, and willing to hear cases, they have more than 16 judges"

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On the Pending Nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/13/15
"The Senate Republicans’ insistence on delaying the confirmation of qualified nominees to the Court of Federal Claims harms its ability to resolve issues of national importance in a timely and just manner. Since February 2013, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has been operating with several vacancies. Only 11 of the 16 seats on the court are occupied by active judges. We could have a court working at full strength if we confirm the five pending on the Senate Executive Calendar. All five of them were all nominated more than a year ago, and have twice been voted out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous voice vote.... One of the nominees, Armando Bonilla, would be the first Hispanic judge to hold a seat on the Court.... Armando Bonilla’s story is that of the American Dream.... During the Bush administration, the Senate confirmed nine judges to the Court of Federal Claims – with the support of every Senate Republican. So far during the Obama administration, only three CFC judges have received confirmation votes.... More than half a year into this new Congress, the Republican leadership has scheduled votes to confirm only five district and circuit court judges. This is in stark contrast to the 25 district and circuit court judges confirmed by July 13, 2007, when the shoe was on the other foot and Democrats had regained the Senate majority in the seventh year of the Bush administration."

Chairman Grassley Prepared Statement at Senate Judiciary Executive Business Meeting
(Republican - Iowa) 07/09/15
"I believe that we can do all the nominees by voice vote. I’m glad that we’re able to vote on them today and continue to process nominees. There seems to be some confusion by some on the outside about why Judge Restrepo wasn’t voted on at our last meeting. At our last markup there was a request to hold his nomination over. We had only received his answers to our written questions a couple of days before markup, and we had a request to hold the nominees over. Under our rules, any Member has that right and I honor the requests, just as Senator Leahy always did when he was Chairman. We continue to make good progress moving nominees out of Committee. This year, the Senate has held six nominations hearings for 17 nominees, including hearings for the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General. At this point in 2007, the Senate had also held hearings for 17 nominees. So the Committee is moving at the same pace it was in 2007. Furthermore, we’ll have another Nominations hearing later this month which will include more district court nominees and an executive nominee. So, we’re moving at least as fast as the pace set in 2007 at that point."

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Leahy Statement at Executive Business Meeting
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/09/15
"Once we report out the pending nominees to the Third Circuit and to the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Committee will have finally finished its left over nominations business from last Congress. Both were first nominated last November, nearly eight months ago. Chairman Grassley will schedule another hearing for several nominees this month. On the floor, however, we currently have 11 judicial nominees reported out of this Committee by voice vote. We have confirmed only 5 judges so far this year compared to 25 judges confirmed at this same point in 2007, with a Democratic majority during the last two years of the Bush administration. I hope the nominees we report today will be considered by the full Senate without further delay."

Sen. Cornyn letter to the editor: Best and brightest
(Republican - Texas) 07/09/15
"Ensuring federal courts in Texas have the best judges is critical, which is why I have been working with the Texas congressional delegation and the Obama administration to fill openings as they arise. Since President Obama took office, he has nominated, and the Senate has confirmed, 12 consensus nominees to fill judicial vacancies in Texas, including six in the last year. I was proud to recommend and support all these excellent judges. To guarantee the best judges for Texans, I have established the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC), a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, to identify the most qualified candidates to help fill vacancies. The judges who have come through this process have won confirmation easily and are the kind of individuals who all can agree deserve life tenure. As a former judge, I understand the importance of high-caliber legal minds on the bench, and I will continue to work to ensure Texas has some of the best and brightest judges in these important posts."

Sens. Booker & Menendez on NJ federal district court judicial emergency vacancies
(Democrat - New Jersey) 07/09/15
The vacancies have become a partisan flashpoint in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Cory Booker called the vacancies “concerning,” and said any “undue delay” in their confirmation is “unacceptable.” Booker’s fellow New Jersey Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez called the situation “outrageous,” and said it “affects everyday people in terms of getting their day in court.” Republicans, he said, “are slow-walking these nominees and obstructing the ability for justice to be administered. That’s unacceptable.”

Sen. Menendez on judicial nominees
(Democrat - New Jersey) 07/07/15
"Glad to vote YES for Kara Farnandez Stoll to be 1st woman of color on Fed Circuit—@Senate_GOPs shouldn’t delay justice w/other judicial noms"

Sen. Leahy Floor Statement: NOMINATION OF KARA FARNANDEZ STOLL
(Democrat - Vermont) 07/07/15
"This glacial pace of confirmations is a dereliction of the Senate's constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees. ... We have 11 other consensus judicial nominations pending on the Senate Executive Calendar in addition to Ms. Farnandez Stoll. No one can credibly claim that the majority's slow pace in scheduling confirmation votes is due to a lack of nominees. This group includes another nominee who has received the strong support of the HNBA--Armando Bonilla--one of five pending nominees to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, CFC. Like Ms. Farnandez Stoll, Mr. Bonilla's confirmation will be an historic milestone--when confirmed he will be the first Hispanic judge to hold a seat on the CFC. In less than 48 hours, the Judiciary Committee is expected to report out another HNBA-endorsed nominee, Luis Felipe Restrepo, who will fill a judicial emergency vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Judge Restrepo was unanimously confirmed 2 years ago by the Senate to serve as a district court judge in Pennsylvania. I have heard no objection to his nomination, yet it took 7 months just to get him a hearing. ...I served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee during those last 2 years of President George W. Bush's administration and we confirmed 68 district and circuit court judges ...by this time in the seventh year of the Bush administration, the Democratically controlled Senate had confirmed 21 judges--including 18 district and 3 circuit court judges. Compare that to this seventh year of the Obama administration under Republican control, in which the Senate has thus far confirmed just four district court judges this year. ... At the start of this Congress, there were 44 vacancies, including 12 vacancies deemed ``judicial emergencies'' by the nonpartisan Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. That number has climbed to 63 vacancies, including 27 ``judicial emergency'' vacancies on our district and circuit courts. The vast majority of these vacancies are concentrated in States with at least one Republican home State Senator. Of particularly concern are four circuit court ``judicial emergency'' vacancies: two in Texas, one in Alabama, and one in Kentucky. Each vacancy has been left open for well over a year, including one in Texas that has remained vacant for almost 3 years."

Sen. Reid Floor Remarks On Judicial Nominees
(Democrat - Nevada) 07/07/15
"[F]or nearly 7 months, the Republican Senate has not confirmed a single appellate court judge. The nominee whom we will consider this evening will be the first Latina on the Federal Circuit. Kara Fernandez Stoll is well qualified by every measure. Her nomination was reported out of the Judiciary Committee months ago. Yet no Republican can explain why she has waited this long to have her vote. It’s all part of Republicans’ disturbing trend of neglecting their constitutional duties. According to the Congressional Research Service, the new Republican Senate has doubled the average time for the confirmation of the first circuit judge for any President in the modern era. ... The Republican Leader and his party are on pace to confirm the fewest judicial nominations in half a century. President Obama's judges are not getting a fair shake. They're bottled up in the Judiciary Committee. They’re forced to wait longer than past Congresses on the floor. I've spoken before about the nominee to the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Luis Felipe Restrepo – another well qualified Latino nominee. The junior Senator from Pennsylvania delayed his confirmation by not returning the blue slip to advance his nomination. Before we left for recess, the Judiciary Committee delayed his hearing again. Yet the junior Senator from Pennsylvania said he is not responsible for the delay because he doesn’t sit on the Judiciary Committee. This good man has waited long enough. He has been nominated to fill a judicial emergency. Judicial emergencies have skyrocketed under Republicans’ lack of leadership. Justice delayed is justice denied. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to have him confirmed. So why doesn't the junior Senator from Pennsylvania simply ask to confirm Judge Restrepo immediately? I’m confident if that happened, we would have that matter on the calendar. We could confirm Judge Restrepo to the Third Circuit next week if Republicans would quit playing games with nominations. ... By this point, Democrats had confirmed 21 of President George W. Bush's judges. President Obama has only had 4 judges confirmed to date."

Sen. Grassley Floor Statement Regarding Judicial Nominations and the nomination of Kara Stoll
(Republican - Iowa) 07/07/15
"Senate Judiciary Committee is treating the President’s nominees extremely fairly and there shouldn’t be any complaining about following the same standard we did in 2007."

Sen. Reid Floor Statement: PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS
(Democrat - Nevada) 07/07/15
"So far, the Republican leader and his party are failing catastrophically. They are intent on delaying important confirmations, even in the face of increasing judicial emergencies all over this country....for almost 7 months, the Republican Senate has not confirmed a single appellate court judge ... Luis Felipe Restrepo, has waited far too long. He has been nominated to fill a judicial emergency. Judicial emergencies have skyrocketed under Republicans' lack of leadership. Justice delayed is justice denied. The people of Pennsylvania deserve to have him confirmed. So why doesn't the junior Senator from Pennsylvania simply ask to confirm Judge Restrepo immediately? I am confident that if that happened we would have that matter on the calendar. We could confirm Judge Restrepo to the Third Circuit next week if Republicans would quit playing games with nominations. Time and time again, Democrats have asked for the fair consideration of President Obama's judicial nominations. It is not too much to ask the new majority to match the numbers of confirmations Democrats gave George W. Bush the last 2 years of his administration. By this point, Democrats had confirmed 21 of President George W. Bush's judges-to-be. President Obama has only had four confirmed to date."

Sen. Menendez statement on slow pace of judicial confirmations
(Democrat - New Jersey) 06/25/15
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, in a statement, called the slow pace of judicial confirmations "outrageous." "We have judicial emergencies and we have three nominees who are eminently qualified," the statement said. "This affects every-day people in terms of getting their day in court. The fact is, Republicans are in control and they are slow-walking these nominees and obstructing the ability for justice to be administered. That's unacceptable."

Sen. Leahy Statement at Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/25/15
"Notably, once we report out the pending nominees to the Third Circuit and to the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Committee will have finally considered all the nominees held over from last Congress. ... I hope the Senators from Pennsylvania and Tennessee have convinced the Republican members on this Committee that there is no good reason for further delay, so that we can report them out today and try to make some progress on filling judicial vacancies. Unfortunately, the Republican-led Senate has not confirmed a single judge this work period. Not one. We have confirmed only four district judges so far this year, and not one circuit judge. At this point in 2007, with Democrats in the majority during the Bush administration, we had confirmed 18 judges – 15 district and 3 circuit court judges. Six of the 18 first had hearings in 2007, were reported to the floor without needless delay and confirmed in a timely manner. Currently pending on the floor we have 12 judicial nominees who were reported out of this Committee by voice vote – 6 were reported unanimously last year and again this year."

Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley Statement delaying scheduled votes on Judge Restrepo' Third Circuit nomination and others
(Republican - Iowa) 06/25/15
"The judicial court nominees are on the agenda for the first time today and will be held over. They are: • Luis Restrepo: Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit; • Travis McDonough: District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee; • Waverly Crenshaw: District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee"

NJ.com quotes Sens. Menendez & Booker on Senate delays of judicial nominees
(Democrat - New Jersey) 06/24/15
"It's pretty outrageous," Menendez said. "That affects every day people in terms of getting their in court. That's unacceptable." All four New Jersey vacancies are considered what the Judicial Conference of the United States, which makes policy for federal courts, calls "judicial emergencies," meaning there are not enough judges on the bench to handle current workloads. Among those waiting for Senate action are Bergen County counsel Julien Xavier Neals, nominated in February; and former Assistant state Attorney General John Michael Vazquez, nominated in March. Earlier this month, Obama picked state Superior Court Judge Brian Martinotti for the third vacancy. "They're eminently qualified," Menendez said. "Republicans are slow-walking all of these nominees and obstructing the ability of justice to be administered."

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Judicial Nominations
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/24/15
"Legislation alone cannot solve the problems facing main street businesses from abuses of the patent system; we also need dedicated judges, like Kara Farnandez Stoll, on the bench to faithfully apply the law. Ms. Farnandez Stoll was first nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit more than seven months ago. Her hearing was held more than three months ago and two months ago she was unanimously reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee. ...Nearly six months into this new Congress, the Republican leadership has scheduled votes to confirm only four district court judges. We have not confirmed a single judge this work period. Not one. This is simply unacceptable. In addition to Ms. Farnandez Stoll, there are 11 other consensus judicial nominations pending on the Senate Executive Calendar. The other nominees pending on the Calendar include five U.S. Court of Federal Claims (CFC) nominees. We are well past the one year anniversary of when each were first nominated and are closing in on the anniversary of all five having had hearings before they were first reported unanimously out of Committee. The five CFC nominees were again reported out of Committee unanimously at the beginning of this year. We have heard no opposition to any of these nominees, yet they have been in limbo for months and months because the Republican Leader has refused to schedule a vote. ... Also pending on the Calendar are nominees to fill vacancies on the Western District of Missouri, the Western District of New York, and three nominees to fill judicial emergency vacancies – two on the Eastern District of New York and one on the Eastern District of California. All but one of whom were first nominated last year. There is nothing keeping the Senate from confirming all 12 nominees – nothing, except for the mindset of delay for delay’s sake, which is unfortunately the hallmark of the majority’s leadership on judicial nominations. The Senate has a duty to consider judicial vacancies no matter which party holds the majority. In the 17 months I chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during President Bush’s first two years in office, the Senate confirmed 100 Federal circuit and district court judges. I also served as Chairman during the last two years of the Bush administration and we confirmed another 68 district and circuit court judges. In contrast to the 4 district judges we have confirmed this year, when the Democrats were in an equivalent position in the seventh year of the Bush administration, we had confirmed 18 judges – including 15 district and 3 circuit court judges – by June 24, 2007."

Sen. Toomey spokeswoman on whether he will ask Senate Judiciary Republicans not to delay scheduled June 25 Committee vote on Judge Restrepo Third Circuit nomination
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 06/23/15
Legal Intelligencer: "But Toomey spokeswoman E.R. Anderson said Toomey's hands are tied because he is not a member of the Judiciary Committee. "Toomey wants Restrepo confirmed," Anderson said in an email, but cannot control the scheduling of the committee's votes.""

Sen. Casey spokesman on scheduled June 25 Judiciary Committee vote on Judge Restrepo Third Circuit nomination
(Democrat - Pennsylvania) 06/23/15
John Rizzo, a Casey spokesman, said in an email, "Sen. Casey is hopeful the Judiciary Committee will move forward on Judge Restrepo's nomination without delay. Sen. Casey believes Judge Restrepo is a highly qualified candidate who will make an excellent judge on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals."

Sen. Grassley spokeswoman on scheduled June 25 Judiciary Committee vote on Judge Restrepo Third Circuit nomination
(Republican - Iowa) 06/23/15
Legal Intelligencer: "A U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee vote to confirm Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is likely to be pushed back, once again delaying the already-drawn-out confirmation process. While no official word has been given that a request for a delay has been made by committee members, Beth Levine, spokeswoman for the Judiciary Committee chairman, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in an email that it was safe to assume the confirmation vote for Restrepo will be held over."

Editorial quotes Sen. Fischer on district court nominee Robert Rossiter Jr.
(Republican - Nebraska) 06/17/15
Sen. Deb Fischer told The World-Herald she’s confident the nomination will win Senate confirmation. “He’s supported by Republicans and Democrats throughout the state,” she said. “I expect the confirmation will go smoothly.”

Senators Hirono and Schatz Recommend Judicial Nominees to White House for U.S. District Court Vacancy
(Democrat - Hawaii) 06/16/15
Senator Hirono and Senator Schatz wrote in a letter to the President, “We arrived at these recommendations after creating a commission of distinguished members of the Hawaii bar and tasking them with receiving and screening applications. From the applications the commission received, a short list of candidates was submitted to our offices for interviews. The commission’s review process coupled with our own interviews helped us identify individuals with outstanding qualifications who we believe would make excellent nominees to the court.”

Sen. Fischer Weekly Column: Resilience and Integrity
(Republican - Nebraska) 06/15/15
"President Obama has nominated Bob Rossiter of Omaha to be a federal district court judge for the District of Nebraska. I had the privilege of calling Bob to inform him of this wonderful news. ... I am thankful to Bob for his willingness to enter public service, and I look forward to working with him through the confirmation process."

Sen. Casey spokesman on recommended U.S. district judge
(Democrat - Pennsylvania) 06/14/15
Spokesmen for Pennsylvania U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican, confirmed that the senators have recommended to President Barack Obama a candidate for the vacant seat in U.S. District Court in Erie. "Working in a bipartisan fashion, Sens. Casey and Toomey have recommended candidates to the White House for U.S. District Court vacancies, including the one in Erie," Casey spokesman John Rizzo said. Rizzo and Toomey spokeswoman E.R. Anderson, however, declined to name the candidate.

Sen. Toomey spokesman on recommended federal judge
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 06/14/15
Spokesmen for Pennsylvania U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, a Democrat, and Pat Toomey, a Republican, confirmed that the senators have recommended to President Barack Obama a candidate for the vacant seat in U.S. District Court in Erie. ... Rizzo and Toomey spokeswoman E.R. Anderson, however, declined to name the candidate. "Sens. Casey and Toomey have worked well together, on a bipartisan basis, to nominate and confirm 14 judges in Pennsylvania. They hope to continue that record of success with the district judge seat in Erie and have suggested a candidate to the White House. However, we will stick to our practice of not commenting further while the process is ongoing," Anderson said.