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Senator Statements

 

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Sen. Feinstein Speaks on Importance of ABA on Judicial Nominations
(Democrat - California) 06/28/17
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today spoke at a Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing about the importance of allowing the American Bar Association (ABA) to review and rate nominees before their hearings.... "I believe that the ABA’s independent, nonpartisan peer evaluations of judicial nominees are important and that senators ought to be able to look at these ratings and take them into account before a nominee’s hearing.... to have nominees that are not judged qualified by the bar association is deeply disturbing. And I think that if somebody can’t get a qualified rating from the ABA they shouldn’t be a judge. So, if this is aimed at weakening that standard I will be, candidly, very disappointed."

Norton Says Trump Administration Continues to Disrespect D.C. on Nominations, Reiterates Call for Senate Democrats to Question Nominees on D.C. Knowledge and Residency: D.C. U.S. District Court Nominees Don’t Pay Norton Courtesy Visit Before Confirmation Hearing, Wednesday
(Democrat - District of Columbia) 06/27/17
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today expressed her strong disappointment that the Trump administration did not even extend her the courtesy to meet the first two nominees for federal positions in the District of Columbia that the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider this Congress—Timothy Kelly and Trevor McFadden, both for the federal district court here—before their confirmation hearing on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Unlike the last three administrations, the Trump administration has not provided Norton with any role in the nomination of federal judges and law enforcement officials in the District. As a result, Norton is requesting that Democrats on the committee question nominees on their knowledge of D.C. and whether they intend to reside in the District during their terms.... “Not only has the Trump administration completely excluded D.C. from any role in the nomination of federal officials in D.C., they have failed to even extend to us the basic courtesy to take the measure of the nominees in person before their confirmation hearings in the Senate, where taxpaying D.C. residents have no representation whatsoever,” Norton said. “It is inconceivable that the Trump administration would not request a meeting to introduce nominees to at least their home-state senators before their confirmation hearings.”

Judiciary Democrats: Allow ABA to Review Potential Judges Before Hearings
(Democrat - California) 06/23/17
Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats today released the following statement in response to the majority’s decision to hold a nomination hearing for two district court nominees before the American Bar Association has an opportunity to review and rate them: “We’re disappointed that the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to hold a nomination hearing for two district court nominees before the American Bar Association will be able to complete their independent nonpartisan evaluations. The hearing will be just 21 days after the nominees were announced and 16 days after the committee received their questionnaires. The ABA is typically able to complete ratings within five weeks, but three weeks is not enough time. The Senate Judiciary Committee has an obligation to thoroughly vet nominees for these lifetime judicial appointments. Reviewing potential judges and ensuring they are qualified is one of our most important responsibilities. A nominee’s ABA rating is an important part of that process. Senators deserve the opportunity to take ABA evaluations into account as they review nominees, and the committee shouldn’t hold hearings until the ABA has an opportunity to provide those ratings.”

Sen. Leahy: Grassley said he would follow same blue slip procedures-- over 30 years "He’s never broken his word to me.”
(Democrat - Vermont) 06/22/17
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), stuck by the practice for years when he was chairman ― even when Republicans routinely abused it to block Obama’s nominees.... “Sen. Grassley made it very clear that he appreciated what I did when there was a Republican president and Democratic president, applying the blue slips,” Leahy told HuffPost. “He told me he was going to follow the same procedures as chairman. And I take him at his word,” he added. “I’ve known him for over 30 years. He’s never broken his word to me.”

SENS. CRAPO, RISCH PRAISE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF JUDGE DAVID NYE: NOMINATION REPORTED TO THE FULL SENATE FOR CONSIDERATION
(Republican - Idaho) 06/15/17
"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) 06/15/17
"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. Feinstein on Scott Palk renomination to District Court
(Democrat - California) 06/15/17
Palk, on the other hand, had a slightly tougher path through the committee, after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., raised concerns about his decision to accept a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association even after he was up for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. Feinstein was also bothered by Palk’s refusal to commit to recusing himself on any cases that came before him and involved the NRA. “I began to think about that and I thought how would I feel if I were before him and I knew that he was a lifetime member of an organization that is in favor of virtually anywhere, anytime gun ownership, possession, sale, transfer, whatever,” Feinstein said before voting against him. “And I think to take out a lifetime membership when you’re going to be a lifetime federal judge is rather sobering. I would not want to go before him.” Feinstein and Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy had a brief back and forth about the California Democrat’s objection to Palk, where Kennedy wondered whether any nominee going forward who is a member of the NRA would have a hard time getting through the committee. Feinstein insisted that Palk was different because he took out the lifetime membership after he was nominated and still refused to say he would recuse himself from cases in which the NRA took a position.

Feinstein defends blue-slip tactic to block judges
(Democrat - California) 06/14/17
The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee is warning Republicans against cutting back on the rights of home-state senators to block judicial nominees through a process known as the blue slip. At a confirmation hearing Wednesday on three of President Donald Trump's judicial picks, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said she wanted to counter Republicans' claims that the blue-slip procedure has not been religiously applied to nominations for circuit court seats. Feinstein noted that one of the nominees appearing before the panel Wednesday, Kevin Newsom, has been selected for a seat that President Barack Obama tried to fill last year. Obama's pick, U.S. District Court Judge Abdul Kallon, never got a hearing because Sen. Richard Shelby and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions declined to return the so-called blue slips for the Alabama resident. So, the seat remained vacant. "I’ve seen in the media some comments from friends across the aisle suggesting that blue slips have historically been less important for circuit court nominees than district court nominees. And respectfully that’s just not the case. The fact that Mr. Newsom is sitting before us today proves that fact," Feinstein said.... Feinstein signaled Wednesday that it would be a mistake for Republicans to abandon the system requiring buy-in from local senators. "That is the prerogative of home state senators for judicial nominees from their states, including circuit court judges," she said.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) on John K. Bush and Damien Schiff judicial nominations
(Republican - Louisiana) 06/14/17
John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer nominated to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, said he regretted some of his 400-plus posts, all published under a fake name ... Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana seemed unpersuaded. "Mr. Bush, I've read your blogs," Kennedy said as he stared at the nominee. "I'm not impressed."... While Bush adopted an apologetic tone, a second nominee, Damien Schiff, was far more confrontational.... Kennedy, who looked disgusted at the end of the hearing, but said he had reached no conclusion about the nominees.

Sen. Feinstein Speaks on Importance of Senators on Judicial Nominations
(Democrat - California) 06/14/17
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today spoke at a Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing about the importance of preserving the so-called blue slip process that requires both home-state senators to approve a nominee from their state before that nominee can move forward in the Judiciary Committee. The nomination of Kevin Newsom to the Eleventh Circuit was only possible because senators did not sign off on President Obama’s nominee to fill that vacancy having a hearing in the Judiciary Committee, but Republicans are now signaling that this long-standing precedent is in jeopardy.... "I would just like to say a quick word, if I may, about blue slips and the Eleventh Court vacancy. Last year, President Obama nominated U.S. District Court Judge Abdul Kallon for this very same vacancy on the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Kallon had been unanimously confirmed with the support of Senators Shelby and Sessions when he was nominated to the federal court bench in 2009. And I’m certain that Judge Kallon would have been an excellent Eleventh Circuit judge. However, Judge Kallon did not receive a hearing in this committee last year because Senators Shelby and Sessions did not support his elevation to the circuit court, and thus did not return their blue slips. That is the prerogative of home-state senators for judicial nominees from their states—including circuit court judges. Now, Mr. Newsom is before us today because Senators Shelby and Strange returned blue slips, and I do not hold Mr. Newsom accountable for the senators’ decision not to return blue slips on Judge Kallon’s nomination. But I’ve seen in the media some comments from friends across the aisle suggesting that blue slips have historically been less important for circuit court nominees than district court nominees. And respectfully, that’s just not the case. The fact that Mr. Newsom is sitting here before us today proves that fact."

Norton Urges Senate Democrats to Question D.C. Federal Nominees on Residency, Familiarity with D.C., After White House Nominates Non-D.C. Residents for the U.S. District Court and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia
(Democrat - District of Columbia) 06/13/17
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today called on Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question nominees for federal positions in the District of Columbia, including federal district court judge, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal, on whether they intend to reside in D.C. during their terms. The White House last week formally nominated its first three individuals for the federal district court here, including Dabney Langhorne Friedrich of California and Trevor N. McFadden of Virginia. Yesterday, the White House announced its intent to nominate Jessie Liu, who is a Virginia resident, to serve as U.S. Attorney here. “It is critical that federal district court judges, U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals understand the people and issues of the jurisdictions they serve, and living in the jurisdictions where their decisions apply keeps them in touch with many relevant issues 24/7,” Norton said. “We are offended that there is a unique patronage exemption in federal law for the District of Columbia. The principle of local residency of federal officials serving their district in the states and territories is otherwise nearly universally recognized."... In March, Norton wrote to President Trump requesting that he extend her the courtesy of consulting on the appointment of these officials—the same courtesy extended to her by President George W. Bush. The Trump White House has not consulted Norton on nominations. Presidents Clinton and Obama extended Norton the courtesy to recommend these officials in the same manner as Democratic senators, and all of Norton’s recommendations were D.C. residents or committed to residing in the District during their terms.

Sen. Crapo on Judge Nye vote pending in panel
(Republican - Idaho) 06/11/17
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.

Sen. McConnell on Judicial Nominations
(Republican - Kentucky) 06/09/17
“The courts — of all the things that we should be able to accomplish with this president and this Senate — the courts have the longest reach into the future,” McConnell said. “We have a significant number of vacancies coming into this administration. The president knows this is a way to have an impact on our country far beyond his tenure in office.” McConnell recognized the nomination process would be a “tough battle” amid what he called “blind obstruction” by the minority party. “The left is on war-footing for just about everything these days and that includes the lower courts,” he said. “They are doing everything they can to tie the Senate in knots. They are forcing procedural hurdles on just about everything.” Trump on Wednesday sent up a slate of federal court nominations and McConnell said they would give each one a “fair hearing and vote.” ... He recalled a conversation he had with Gorsuch following his confirmation, during which the new Supreme Court associate justice said he hoped to serve for 20 to 25 years. “What we had in mind was a lot longer tenure than 20 or 25 years,” McConnell told Gorsuch and said to “think Strom Thurmond” who left the Senate at the age of 100. Thurmond was in fragile health the last several years of his tenure.

Sens. Carper and Coons Move on Federal Court Vacancies
(Democrat - Delaware) 06/09/17
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."

Judiciary committee's Mazie Hirono stresses importance of blue-slip process in fighting Trump nominations
(Democrat - Hawaii) 06/09/17
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono insisted Friday that the Senate "respect" the "blue-slip" process regarding judicial nominations and hinted at its utility as a tool to fight the Trump administration. Under the Senate's blue slip procedure, a state's senators are consulted by the White House before a president nominates a judge from that state, with no attention given to party affiliation, explains a Congressional Research Service report detailing the blue slip policy. The home-state senators then have the opportunity to block a nominee from receiving a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote. "Until I got to the nomination of Judge Gorsuch and so much preparation time, I really wasn't familiar with the blue-slip process," said Hirono, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the American Constitution Society's national convention. "But it's time-honored. Blue slips enable home-state senators to ensure that the federal judges serving in their states are highly qualified." Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono insisted Friday that the Senate "respect" the "blue-slip" process regarding judicial nominations and hinted at its utility as a tool to fight the Trump administration. Under the Senate's blue slip procedure, a state's senators are consulted by the White House before a president nominates a judge from that state, with no attention given to party affiliation, explains a Congressional Research Service report detailing the blue slip policy. The home-state senators then have the opportunity to block a nominee from receiving a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote. "Until I got to the nomination of Judge Gorsuch and so much preparation time, I really wasn't familiar with the blue-slip process," said Hirono, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the American Constitution Society's national convention. "But it's time-honored. Blue slips enable home-state senators to ensure that the federal judges serving in their states are highly qualified."

Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley, Prepared Statement, Executive Business Meeting
(Republican - Iowa) 06/08/17
"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."

Sen. Toomey Applauds Nomination of Stephanos Bibas to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 06/08/17
"I am pleased that President Trump has nominated Stephanos Bibas to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. "Professor Bibas clearly has the intellect and the legal experience to be an excellent judge. In addition to serving as a Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and as the Director of the University's Supreme Court clinic, Professor Bibas clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and argued six cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Most importantly, Professor Bibas understands that the proper role of a judge is to apply the law as written and to treat everyone who comes before him equally, not to impose his policy preferences from the bench or choose winners or losers. "I believe that Professor Bibas will make an outstanding addition to the Third Circuit, and I hope that the Senate Judiciary Committee will move Professor Bibas' nomination forward promptly so he can soon be confirmed by the full Senate."

Sen. Gardner Statement on Nomination of Allison Eid to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
(Republican - Colorado) 06/07/17
“Justice Allison Eid is an excellent choice to serve on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. I have known Allison since my days as a student at the University of Colorado Law School and have been extremely impressed with her service on Colorado’s Supreme Court. Whether she was clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas, teaching at CU Law, arguing cases as Colorado’s Solicitor General, or writing opinions as a member of the state’s Supreme Court, she has always been an ardent defender of the Constitution and committed to upholding the rule of law. I look forward to supporting Allison throughout her confirmation process.”

Sen. McConnell Statement on Claria Horn Boom
(Republican - Kentucky) 06/07/17
“President Trump announced another group of outstanding judicial nominations today, including his intent to nominate Claria Horn Boom, of Lexington, to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky. Claria’s experience as an assistant United States Attorney in Kentucky will make her an excellent addition to the federal bench. Her strong ties throughout the Commonwealth will serve her well in this new role. I commend the President on his selection and I look forward to the Senate confirming her.”

Sen. Feinstein on John K. Bush Sixth Circuit nomination
(Democrat - California) 06/07/17
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, told HuffPost that Bush will get his hearing next week and that his writings raise “serious questions.” “I share concerns about the hostility to a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions that Mr. Bush exhibited in his personal writings,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Some of Mr. Bush’s writings raise serious questions about whether he has the temperament and ability to be an independent judge and follow the law. We will be examining these and other writings before his hearing next week.”

Sen. Bennet on Eid 10th Circuit nomination
(Democrat - Colorado) 06/07/17
In a statement released Wednesday, Bennet said he was displeased Trump had not reached out prior to the nomination. “It’s unfortunate that this White House failed to follow the traditional practice of working with the home state senators to fill this seat with the input of the Colorado legal community,” Bennet said in a statement. “Nonetheless, Justice Eid deserves full consideration by the United States Senate. I look forward to reviewing her record and writings in the weeks ahead.” Asked whether Bennet would try to block Eid, Bennet spokeswoman Samantha Slater said, “It’s premature to comment on that, and we’re going to wait until all the materials are submitted.”

SEN. HOEVEN STATEMENT ON NOMINATION OF JUDGE RALPH ERICKSON TO SERVE ON THE 8TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS
(Republican - North Dakota) 06/07/17
“Judge Erickson has served the people of North Dakota and the United States well on the U.S District Court and I support his nomination to serve on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Hoeven. “Judge Erickson has tremendous experience having served for 23 years in various judicial positions from his start as a Magistrate judge to his current position on the U.S. District Court. Throughout his career, he has upheld the rule of law and shown deep respect for the Constitution. We look forward to moving his nomination through the Senate.”

Sen. Heitkamp Statement on Nomination of Ralph Erickson to Serve as Judge on 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
(Democrat - North Dakota) 06/07/17
“Judge Erickson has proven through his decades of experience, record of impartiality, and devotion to his work that he is a judicious and thoughtful lawyer who continues to follow the rule of law,” said Heitkamp. “I have known Judge Erickson for many years and he has a reputation for fairness and independence, and is highly respected by members of the North Dakota bar – and I look forward to supporting his nomination in the U.S. Senate.”

Senator Mike Lee On “Blue Slips”
(Republican - Utah) 06/06/17
"There is nothing in the Senate rules, nothing certainly in the Constitution that requires it. There is some history and tradition behind it. My understanding is that the historical treatment that it’s received has been somewhat different with Circuit Courts than with district courts. So that’s one question we’ve got to look at. The other question that has to be examined is the extent to which it is being, or will be abused during this administration by people across the other side of the aisle. One of the more compelling arguments that I’ve heard by those who are opposed to the blue slips at this point is to say in the post-nuclear Senate, meaning after the Democrats went nuclear in November, 2013, it is no longer the case that 41 Senators can hold up a nominee. If 41 Senators can’t hold up a nominee, why would you allow one to not? That is a question that is being looked at closely within the Committee.... this is ultimately a matter that contemplates a judgment call on the part of the committee chairman. And I’ve got full confidence in Chairman Grassley to look carefully at this and to decide whether or when to do a hearing on it specifically, and what decisions, if any, need to be made."

Grassley Refuses To Support His Own Past Statement On Blue Slips
(Republican - Iowa) 06/06/17
Progress Iowa YouTube video: At a town hall meeting in Guthrie Center, Senator Grassley refused to agree with his past statement about the need to continue the blue-slip process allowing home state senators to approve judicial nominees -- even when presented with a column he wrote in 2015 publicly supporting the blue-slip process. If the Judiciary Committee (where Grassley serves as Chair) ends the use of the blue-slip, the President will have significantly less oversight on his judicial appointments.

Portman, Brown Announce Members of Bipartisan Commission to Recommend Candidates for Judicial Vacancies in Ohio's Southern and Northern Districts
(Republican - Ohio) 06/05/17
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.

Brown, Portman Announce Members of Bipartisan Commission to Recommend Candidates for Judicial Vacancies in Ohio’s Southern and Northern Districts
(Democrat - Ohio) 06/05/17
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.

Delaware U.S. Senators on filling two district court vacancies
(Democrat - Delaware) 05/30/17
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) 05/30/17
“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.