Skip Navigation
Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo
 

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Senator Statements

 

Issue
Nominee
Senator
Senator's Party
Senator's State
 
Items 1 - 30 of 1458  12345678910Next

Rep. Norton Asks the President for Courtesy of Consultation on Federal Law Enforcement Officials in D.C.
(Democrat - District of Columbia) 03/20/17
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. Rubio and Bill Nelson letter asks President Trump to keep judicial picks they sent to Obama
(Republican - Florida) 03/16/17
"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."

Sens. Bill Nelson and Rubio letter asks President Trump to keep judicial picks they sent to Obama
(Democrat - Florida) 03/16/17
"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."

[Sen. Sherrod Brown] Portman, Brown Request Applications for U.S. District Judgeship Vacancies in Ohio's Southern and Northern Districts
(Democrat - Ohio) 03/13/17
“I thank Judge Frost and Judge Nugent for their many years of dedicated and thoughtful public service,” said Brown. “I know the commission is devoted to finding the best possible candidates to continue his important work.” NOTE: The President of the United States nominates U.S. District Court Judges based on recommendations from U.S. Senators. Nominees must then be confirmed by the full U.S. Senate. U.S. District Courts are general trial courts which hear both civil and criminal cases. In the interest of identifying the best possible judicial candidates for Ohio’s federal bench, Portman and Brown are working to establish a bipartisan judicial advisory commission. Members of the commission will be chosen by both senators to review applications and recommend candidates for this vacancy. This is a process that was first established by Brown and former U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH).

[Sen. Portman] Portman, Brown Request Applications for U.S. District Judgeship Vacancies in Ohio's Southern and Northern Districts
(Republican - Ohio) 03/13/17
“We wish both Judge Frost and Judge Nugent well in their retirement, and thank them for their years of public service,” said Portman. “The commission will weigh the best candidates and give Ohioans an opportunity to have input on the selection.” NOTE: The President of the United States nominates U.S. District Court Judges based on recommendations from U.S. Senators. Nominees must then be confirmed by the full U.S. Senate. U.S. District Courts are general trial courts which hear both civil and criminal cases. In the interest of identifying the best possible judicial candidates for Ohio’s federal bench, Portman and Brown are working to establish a bipartisan judicial advisory commission. Members of the commission will be chosen by both senators to review applications and recommend candidates for this vacancy. This is a process that was first established by Brown and former U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH).

[Sen. Toomey quote] Senators Casey and Toomey Continue Bipartisan Agreement on District Court Vacancies
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 03/10/17
Sens. Casey and Toomey look forward to continuing this bipartisan process under President Trump, and appointing individuals who demonstrate the intelligence, experience, and character to serve Pennsylvania well on the federal bench. ... "Since 2011, Sen. Casey and I have worked to confirm 14 qualified jurists to fill district court vacancies on the federal bench. This is more than every other state except California and Texas during that time," said Sen. Toomey. "We will continue our bipartisan agreement to ensure that the most capable, knowledgeable and ethical candidates become federal judges serving Pennsylvania." ... Separate judicial nomination advisory panels will be established in the Eastern District and Western District of Pennsylvania ... Each panel will be made up of 20 members, including two co-chairs. Sens. Casey and Toomey will each appoint nine panel members and one co-chair.... There are currently no vacancies in the Middle District.

[Sen. Casey quote] Senators Casey and Toomey Continue Bipartisan Agreement on District Court Vacancies
(Democrat - Pennsylvania) 03/10/17
Sens. Casey and Toomey look forward to continuing this bipartisan process under President Trump, and appointing individuals who demonstrate the intelligence, experience, and character to serve Pennsylvania well on the federal bench. "I look forward to working with Sen. Toomey again to recommend highly qualified candidates to the federal bench," Sen. Casey said. "The bipartisan process Sen. Toomey and I have engaged in has helped put 16 judges on the federal bench. Filling these judicial vacancies is critical for the administration of justice in Pennsylvania." ... Separate judicial nomination advisory panels will be established in the Eastern District and Western District of Pennsylvania ... Each panel will be made up of 20 members, including two co-chairs. Sens. Casey and Toomey will each appoint nine panel members and one co-chair.... There are currently no vacancies in the Middle District.

Sen. Toomey expresses continued support for Susan Paradise Baxter
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 02/28/17
Toomey and Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, supported Obama's nomination of Baxter, 60, a Democrat from Erie who has been a federal magistrate judge for 22 years. Toomey will support a renomination of Baxter under Trump, a Republican, said Toomey's spokesman, Steve Kelly. "Sen. Toomey believes it is crucial to place a sitting judge at the federal courthouse in Erie, which has remained vacant for years," Kelly said. "He believes that Judge Baxter has the intellect, experience and integrity to serve as a federal judge. "Sen. Toomey looks forward to working with Sen. Casey and the White House to fill the vacancy at the Erie courthouse and other pending vacancies on the federal bench in Pennsylvania."

Sen. Young: Federal Judge Applications
(Republican - Indiana) 02/14/17
"Indiana currently has four judicial vacancies: three in the District Court (Northern, Fort Wayne; Northern, South Bend; Southern, Indianapolis) and one in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Qualified individuals can apply for these positions by downloading the application form here and returning it following the instructions on the form prior to the March 13, 2017 deadline. United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Application Northern District Court Application Southern District Court Application"

Indiana Senators on judicial vacancies
(Republican - Indiana) 02/14/17
Indiana Sen. Todd Young is taking applications for several vacancies in federal federal court ... Young has spoken with Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly about the process, according to Donnelly’s office. Applicants are being sought for judicial vacancies in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne division and South Bend division; and U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis division.... Applications are due by March 13. “Indiana currently has multiple vacancies that are creating a strain on our justice system,” Young said in a press release. “It’s my mission to recommend qualified, trustworthy Hoosiers to the President to fill these roles as soon as possible.” In January 2016, former President Barack Obama nominated two candidates for the Indiana judicial vacancies. Winfield Ong, nominee for the Southern District of Indiana, was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee but never received a full vote by the U.S. Senate. Myra Selby, nominee for the 7th Circuit, was not given a hearing by the Judiciary Committee because former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats withheld his support.

Sen. Sasse Announces Nebraska Justice and Judicial Nominations Advisory Commission
(Republican - Nebraska) 02/14/17
Sen. Sasse Press Release: "Senator Sasse’s Nebraska Justice and Judicial Nominations Advisory Commission is an independent body of well-respected Nebraska leaders that will review applications, interview candidates, and make recommendations to Senator Sasse. Each Senator makes his or her recommendation to the White House. After the White House sends a nomination to the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its confirmation process which, by longstanding precedent, requires the approval of both home-state senators."

Sens. Fischer, Sasse Announce Judicial Nominations Process for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
(Republican - Nebraska) 02/10/17
Nebraska’s U.S. Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse announced the application process for filling a forthcoming vacancy in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Last week, Chief Judge William Jay Riley announced he will transition from active service to senior status effective June 30, 2017. Under the U.S. Constitution, judicial nominations are made by the president “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Typically, home state senators work with the Office of White House Counsel to identify for the president’s consideration qualified candidates for vacancies on the U.S. circuit courts. Senators Fischer and Sasse invite applications from qualified Nebraskans.

Sens. Cruz, Cornyn Announce Application Process for Texas Judgeships and U.S. Attorney Positions
(Republican - Texas) 01/19/17
“The FJEC selection process ensures Texans have the best, most qualified federal judges and prosecutors serving them,” Sen. Cruz said. “Texas is blessed with many exceptional candidates with a deep respect for the rule of law, and I encourage them to pursue these important positions.” “As a former judge and Attorney General of Texas, I acutely understand the importance of ensuring that we have the best people sitting on the federal bench and enforcing federal law in Texas,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I encourage any qualified individuals interested in serving Texas in these roles to take the first step by submitting their information to the review committee.”

Sen. Gardner Reopens Committee to Fill Colorado Judicial Vacancy
(Republican - Colorado) 01/19/17
In November 2015, Gardner recommended four potential nominees the White House. While President Obama nominated one of Gardner’s recommendations, the nominee was not confirmed. “The search to fill the Colorado judgeship began nearly a year prior to the vacancy in order to ensure that an already busy court is not understaffed,” said Gardner. “It is critical that the process to fill the vacancy remains thorough and expeditious. That is why I have requested the Judicial Evaluation Committee provide recommendations within 30 days so that I can send potential nominees to President-elect Trump as soon as possible.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth stresses value of hearings for presidential nominees
(Democrat - Illinois) 01/09/17
we asked her how she'd treat Cabinet and Supreme Court nominees from Trump. Hearings for all of them are essential she said, decrying the lack of one for President Obama's high court nominee Merrick Garland. "We should be able to see what that person proposes to bring to the table in terms of their experience, their background, but also what their policies are," she told your shorter columnist then. "I'll base my vote on those hearings themselves and meetings and conversations with the person. No matter who is president, their nominee deserves to have a hearing, and that's not what's happening right now." She also said that even with the opposing party controlling the White House and Congress, she'd stand up and insist on hearings and votes to fill lower-level judicial seats - something that has been a persistent problem under the last three presidents because of members of both parties. Republicans have slow-walked district and appellate court nominees for both Obama and Bill Clinton; Democrats did the same under George W. Bush. The hypocrisy is strong in both parties on this topic, which is why it was gratifying to hear this from Duckworth: "We are in a crisis across this country with so many open judicial seats right now," she said in November. "Many of them have been in so-called 'crisis mode' for a decade. ... The American people deserve a functioning government, and we don't have that if the two parties cannot come together and do their jobs."

Sen. Crapo joins Senate Judiciary Committee, hopes to push David Nye renomination and third Idaho federal judgeship
(Republican - Idaho) 01/03/17
He and fellow GOP Sen. Jim Risch persuaded the Judiciary Committee to unanimously approve the nomination of Idaho Judge David Nye for the state’s vacant federal judgeship in the fall, but the nomination never came up for a vote in the full Senate. That leaves Idaho still down to just one active federal district judge, Judge B. Lynn Winmill, since longtime Judge Edward Lodge took senior status in July of 2015. Lindsay Nothern, Crapo’s spokesman, said, “We’re really going to work hard on Nye and work hard on the judges thing. That was a part of the move to the Judiciary Committee.” Nothern said Crapo is hoping to move Nye’s nomination through “sooner rather than later,” and said he’ll “absolutely” be in a better position to advocate for Idaho to get a third judgeship. “He might be writing the legislation to do it,” Nothern said.

Sen. Crapo to Join Judiciary Committee in 115th Congress
(Republican - Idaho) 01/03/17
Crapo will work with the President-elect to nominate and confirm Idaho’s next U.S. District Judge.... “When the committee convenes, it will hold hearings and act to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. That nominee must follow in the model of Justice Scalia, looking first and foremost to the Constitution for guidance. I will also work with other panel members to advance to the full Senate a nominee to be Idaho’s next U.S. District judge."

Sen. Barbara Boxer: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in ‘Judicial Emergency’
(Democrat - California) 12/29/16
Sen. Barbara Boxer said the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is facing a “judicial emergency” as she called for a Senate vote Tuesday on San Jose-based U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh’s nomination to the appellate court. As the new year rears its head, the 9th Circuit is facing a four-seat vacancy: Two are currently empty and two will become vacant when other judges assume senior status at the end of 2016.

Sen. Donnelly on Winfield Ong, Myra Selby, and Merrick Garland judicial nominations
(Democrat - Indiana) 12/28/16
“I am disappointed that the Senate does not plan to hold any more votes this year,” Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly said. “I strongly supported both Winfield Ong and Myra Selby and pushed the Senate majority to allow them to receive fair and timely consideration. Part of our job as senators is to consider judicial nominations, but ultimately the Republican leadership chose not to hold hearings and votes on many nominees for the lower courts in addition to refusing to consider the nomination of Judge Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”

Sen. Klobuchar on candidates for two MN federal judgeships
(Democrat - Minnesota) 12/27/16
In a phone interview Tuesday, Klobuchar said she and Franken agreed to forward names reviewed by their committee to Paulsen and U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., after the Nov. 21 deadline for applications passed. Klobuchar said candidates included judges appointed by former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. "I think the real interest here is to get these vacancies filled by qualified people," Klobuchar said. "Our interest in Minnesota for both Republicans and Democrats should be getting the best people we can get on the bench. … Somehow I'm hopeful this will work. [Emmer and Paulsen are] going to be called on by the administration to give their recommendations. I think it is helpful to get as many names and input as possible."

Sen. Harry Reid: Farewell, Fair Senate
(Democrat - Nevada) 12/09/16
Sen. Reid Op-Ed: One thing we fought for that’s worth defending is a fairer, more open and more productive Senate. We changed the Senate rules to guarantee a president’s nominees a simple-majority vote, and declared that a president’s nominees should not be stymied with procedural hurdles and a requirement for supermajority votes. (Supreme Court nominations still have this requirement.) We declared that the changes should apply regardless of which party was in the White House .... Moreover, the rule change has been a victory for those who want to see a functioning, open and transparent Senate. It allowed Mr. Obama’s judicial nominees to receive the just consideration they deserved. Without the rule change, Republicans would have been able to hold open three seats on our nation’s second highest court, the District of Columbia Circuit Court, until the next Republican administration. The judges we confirmed to those seats will loom large in the years to come. In 2014 alone, the Senate confirmed 89 Circuit and District Court judges, more than for any year in two decades. The rule change was consistent with the history of the Senate, which has continually evolved when faced with new challenges .... From George Washington to George W. Bush, only 68 presidential nominees had been filibustered. Senate Republicans took obstruction to a new level, filibustering 79 of Mr. Obama’s nominees in just four years.

Idaho Senators on federal district court nominee
(Republican - Idaho) 12/08/16
Despite the best efforts of Idaho’s two senators, the lame-duck session of Congress is wrapping up without any confirmation votes on judges – including U.S. District judge nominee David Nye of Idaho. ... Sen. Mike Crapo’s spokesman, Lindsay Nothern, said, “The odds of us getting it done today are probably not good. So we need to push forth into the new year and continue to work with the Trump folks on Judge Nye’s nomination and confirmation.” “We’re going to keep going with Nye,” Nothern said.... The federal court system has declared a “judicial emergency” in Idaho due the shortage of judges, and out-of-state judges have been brought in to hear Idaho cases. “We are disappointed – we would have liked to have gotten it done now,” Nothern said. “That said, we’re still optimistic in working with Trump’s folks, because they’re asking us who we like and we say we’re going to support Judge Nye. There’s been communication already.” However, he noted, “We’d have to re-nominate him through the Trump Administration.” Nye won unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee in July after a hearing in June. He’s among 20 federal district court nominees who’ve won unanimous support from the committee, but never got floor votes in the full Senate on their confirmations.

Sen. Cardin Floor Statement: TRIBUTE TO HARRY REID
(Democrat - Maryland) 12/08/16
"Senator Reid's efforts to choose qualified Federal jurists for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada will be felt for decades after he leaves office. Senator Reid has recommended and helped confirm five of the six judges currently serving on the court. As a result of Senator Reid's commitment to diversity, there have been numerous ``firsts'' for the court. In 1998, Senator Reid recommended Johnnie Rawlinson to be the first woman to serve as a judge on the Nevada District Court. At his request, she was elevated to the Ninth Circuit in 2000. In 2010, Gloria Navarro became the first Hispanic woman to serve as a judge on the Nevada District Court. In 2012, Miranda Du became the first Asian-Pacific American to serve as a judge on the Nevada District Court. In 2014, Richard Boulware became the first African-American man to serve as a judge on the Nevada District Court. The Senate still has the opportunity to confirm Anne Traum, who would be the first Jewish person to serve on the Nevada District Court."

Sen. Boxer: Farewell to the Senate Floor speech
(Democrat - California) 12/07/16
"When I look back on everything I fought for, there are more than a thousand accomplishments, and I am certainly not going to talk about all of those, but I am going to, briefly, very fast, go through 10 of my favorites.... recommending a diverse group of supremely qualified judicial nominees who are carrying out our laws in California's Federal courts."

Sen. Moran disappointed district court nominee Terrence Campbell was not able to be confirmed before the election.
(Republican - Kansas) 12/07/16
A Lawrence attorney nominated to the federal bench in Kansas nearly a year ago is withdrawing his name from consideration. Terrence J. Campbell made public on Wednesday letters he sent to President Barack Obama and to Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran. He cites the short time remaining for Congress to complete its business and the results of the recent election, saying it is apparent he will not be able to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Moran says he is disappointed Campbell was not able to be confirmed before the election.

Sens. Crapo and Risch on ID federal district court nominee and need for another judgeship
(Republican - Idaho) 12/07/16
With Congress nearing adjournment for the year, Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho have had no luck in getting the GOP-controlled Senate to confirm David Nye, a Pocatello judge nominated in April by President Barack Obama. As a result, both senators are hoping that the president-elect will renominate Nye for the position in 2017.... Even if Nye is approved next year, Risch and Crapo say that Idaho still needs a third federal judge to handle the state’s growing caseload. ... Risch and Crapo both issued statements through their press aides, saying they’d work with Trump next year to try to get Nye renominated and confirmed as quickly as possible.

Sen. Hoeven spokesman on Jennifer Klemtsrud Puhl 8th Circuit Court of Appeals nomination
(Republican - North Dakota) 11/30/16
Puhl has the support of Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., both of whom introduced her when she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June. In that hearing, Puhl found a friendly reception and her nomination was sent to the Senate floor on a voice vote with no dissents. Despite her bipartisan support, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate majority leader, told Hoeven after the Thanksgiving break that no Obama judicial or executive nominees will move forward in the waning days of the lame duck Congress, said Don Canton, Hoeven's spokesman. But when Donald Trump takes over as president and the new Congress convenes in January, Hoeven will again submit Puhl's name—among others—as a potential nominee for the 8th Circuit judicial vacancy, Canton said. North Dakota's seat on the appeals court was vacated by Kermit Bye, who last year took senior status at age 77 and retired Sept 1. "We'll certainly advance Jennifer's name and support her next year, but we'll also have to forward several other names, too," he said.

Sen. Heitkamp will continue pushing for Jennifer Klemtsrud Puhl confirmation to 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
(Democrat - North Dakota) 11/30/16
Puhl has the support of Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., both of whom introduced her when she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June. In that hearing, Puhl found a friendly reception and her nomination was sent to the Senate floor on a voice vote with no dissents.... In a statement, Heitkamp said she would continue to press for Puhl's confirmation, in this session and the one starting next year. "The judicial seat on the 8th Circuit has been vacant for an astonishing almost 600 days—preventing the judicial system from fully functioning and unnecessarily delaying the due process of American citizens throughout our region—including North Dakotans," she said. "It's long past time for the U.S. Senate to consider and approve Jennifer's nomination."

Sens. Feinstein & Boxer on need for 2016 confirmation of Judge Lucy Koh to Ninth Circuit
(Democrat - California) 11/23/16
“With the 9th Circuit facing a judicial emergency, it’s critical that the Senate act on this vacancy,” Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said in a statement Tuesday, calling Koh a “supremely qualified nominee.” Boxer’s California colleague, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will play an even more significant role in vetting Trump’s judicial nominees through her newly acquired position as senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Like Boxer, she still holds out hope for Koh. “My staff is working to ensure Judge Koh is included in any end-of-year package of judges, and I look forward to seeing Judge Koh confirmed as soon as possible,” Feinstein said Wednesday.

Sen. Schumer on need for lame duck Senate vote on Kathleen Sweet district court nomination
(Democrat - New York) 11/19/16
President Obama recommended Sweet, a well-known civil attorney and former Erie County Bar Association president, for appointment in March, and she made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee unopposed. But, since then, her nomination has languished.... "To start the process all over again would simply be unfair to all those seeking speedy justice in Buffalo and Western New York,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer said in a statement. "Now is the time for the Senate to do its job and promptly approve Ms. Sweet because the backlog in caseload needs to be addressed right away." ... In Schumer, Sweet has a supporter who, because of his new leadership position, may have the clout to overcome potential Republican opposition. "When it comes to Kathleen Sweet, the verdict is clear," he said. "She has exceptional experience, an incisive legal mind, a tremendous resume, and the temperament needed to fill the U.S. Court seat in the Western District of New York, which has been vacant for too long."