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Senator Statements

 

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Sen. Flake on Home-State Senator Blue Slips for Nominees to fill six Arizona Emergency Federal Judicial Vacancies
(Republican - Arizona) 12/19/13
"Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told The Arizona Republic last week that he was holding on to his “blue slips” for the previous nominees until the White House followed through with one more promised name. The blue slips are a traditional way for home-state senators to weigh in on nominations that affect their constituents. Flake’s office confirmed Thursday that Soto’s was the nomination Flake was awaiting."

Sen. Grassley Statement at Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting
(Republican - Iowa) 12/19/13
"All the judicial nominations on the agenda appear for the first time, and we request they be held over."

Sens. Collins, King Voice Support for Nomination of Justice Jon Levy to U.S. District Court for Maine
(Republican - Maine) 12/19/13
“I am pleased to join my colleague Senator King in recommending Justice Jon David Levy to serve on the United States District Court for the State of Maine,” said Senator Collins. “Justice Levy’s extensive experience as a state judge and in private practice makes him extremely well qualified for Maine’s federal district court. His contributions to the Maine legal community and the juvenile justice system would give him a valuable perspective as a federal judge. I am confident that if confirmed, Jon Levy will serve the people of Maine and the nation with great intelligence, integrity, and impartiality.”

Sen. Grassley Responds to Chairman Leahy's statement on Judiciary Committee matters
(Republican - Iowa) 12/18/13
“The so-called obstruction of nominees is a figment of the Democrats’ imagination."

Sen. Collins on delay of scheduled Judiciary Committee judicial nominations hearing
(Republican - Maine) 12/18/13
Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley said, “Senator Collins believes Judge Levy is well-qualified to serve on Maine’s federal District Court, and she had planned to testify at his hearing. She looks forward to doing so when it is rescheduled, which she hopes is soon.”

Sens. Shaheen, Ayotte Statement on Landya McCafferty Confirmation; McCafferty confirmed as district of New Hampshire federal district court judge by vote of 79-19
(Democrat, Republican - New Hampshire) 12/12/13
"Landya is exceptionally qualified and experienced and will be a great addition to the federal bench for the District of New Hampshire," said Shaheen and Ayotte. "We look forward to her service as the first woman to hold this position in our state now that the Senate has cleared her historic nomination."

Sen. Lamar Alexander calls Senate rule decision 'Obamacare II'
(Republican - Tennessee) 12/08/13
This is the same kind of power play. There was no justification for this.” On how this is different from when Republicans under former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist considered the same option in 2005 “The difference is he didn’t do it,” Alexander said of his fellow Tennessean. “The reason he didn’t was because Harry Reid said it would be the end of the Senate. ... We agreed we wouldn’t do that. We would only block nominees by cloture, by filibuster, in extraordinary circumstances.”

Sen. Cruz: Senate Triggered Nuclear Option To Pack D.C. Cirucit & Distract From Obamacare
(Republican - Texas) 12/05/13
"The nuclear option was a blatant abuse of power. It was designed really to do two things. Number one, to change the topic from Obamacare," Cruz said Thursday during a speech at an American Legislative Exchange Council event. The second thing, Cruz continued, had to do with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats have pushed back on the court-packing argument, saying that Republicans had no problem confirming D.C. Circuit Court nominations under a Republican president. "The nuclear option was directed exactly at that because it was directed at three judges on the D.C. Circuit [Court], the circuit that hears most of the challenges to the abuse of executive authority on Obamacare and everything else," Cruz said. "Right now the D.C. circuit is evenly split with Republican nominees and Democratic nominees and what Harry Reid is trying to do is pack it with additional judges they believe will rubber stamp the president's agenda."

Sen. Alexander on pending district court nominee Pamela Reeves
(Republican - Tennessee) 12/05/13
In a meeting with News Sentinel editors and reporters this week, Sen. Lamar Alexander said all that is needed is for Majority Leader Harry Reid to schedule a vote. Alexander said he sees no reason why Reeves would not be confirmed, noting that no district court nominee has ever been blocked by a filibuster. “It’s up to Harry Reid,” Alexander said. “All he has to do is bring her name up. I know of no problem with Pam. I’ve met with her. The way you get confirmation is, the Democratic leader makes a motion to confirm and I don’t know any reason why she wouldn’t be.”

Sen. Isakson on filibuster change and home-state senator "blue slips"
(Republican - Georgia) 12/04/13
Isakson said he believes the vote by Senate Democrats to change voting on many appointments to a simple majority is largely a flexing of power. He said the vote was an effort on the part of Reid “to make it look like the Republicans were being obstructionist.” ... Isakson noted the majority vote rule applies to judicial nominees other than the Supreme Court and to federal bureaucracy appointments. He said the “blue slip” rule, which allows senators to hold up confirmation of any nominee, is still in place. He said the change amounts to “a partial loosening of the rules to strengthen the majority’s hands.” Democrats could have completely eliminated the 60 percent requirement and the blue slip rule if that had been their goal, he said.

TN Sens. gave Sheryl Lipman district court nomination "blue slip" allowing it to proceed
(Republican - Tennessee) 11/27/13
Tennessee's Republican senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, ... both gave the nomination a so-called "blue slip" allowing it to proceed.

Sen. Blunt supports Doug Harpool district court nomination
(Republican - Missouri) 11/25/13
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said he will support Harpool’s nomination. “In his public career, I haven’t agreed with everything he’s done,” Blunt said. “But he will, I think, be a fair judge ... and I believe he’ll be confirmed.”

Sens. Casey & Toomey
(Democrat, Republican - Pennsylvania) 11/22/13
Democrat Bob Casey of Scranton and Republican Pat Toomey of Lehigh Valley told the Tribune-Review their opposite opinions would not bruise their ability to work together on executive and judicial nominees. Casey said he and Toomey “have developed a successful bipartisan process to recommend highly qualified individuals to the White House,” and those candidates were confirmed “by strong majorities in the Senate.” “Pennsylvanians expect and deserve to have two senators who work together to place highly capable jurists on the bench, who are fair and uphold high ethical standards,” he said. Toomey said their working relationship will transcend the rule change. Since 2011, Toomey supported Obama's three judicial nominees; two are Western Pennsylvanians and filling the vacancies was overdue, he said at the time.

Sen. Heller Statement on Use of “Nuclear Option” in U.S. Senate
(Republican - Nevada) 11/21/13
“This is a sad day for the United States Senate, and a scary day for Nevada. While today we are discussing nominations, what assurances are there that today’s changes will not apply to future legislation?"

SEN. COCHRAN OPPOSES DEMOCRATS’ “NUCLEAR OPTION” Miss. Senator Calls New Filibuster Rule a Mistake That Diminishes Constitutional Responsibilities
(Republican - Mississippi) 11/21/13
“The Democratic majority’s action to overturn nearly 225 years of precedent will transform how the United States Senate conducts its business, and not for the better. Allowing a simple majority to end debate is a mistake and greatly diminishes the Senate’s responsibility to provide advice and consent as set out in the Constitution. The Senate was never intended to operate like the House of Representatives or to serve as a rubber stamp for any President. This historic institution and the American people have lost something very important and special.”

Sen. Ayotte Statement Regarding "Nuclear Option"
(Republican - New Hampshire) 11/21/13
""The Democrats' vote to invoke the ‘nuclear option' and fundamentally change the rules of the Senate is a raw power grab which is deeply disappointing.... The Senate has a constitutional advice and consent role when it comes to the president's nominees, and Senate rules have long protected the rights of the minority party. At a time when Americans want members of both parties to be working together, this partisan power play will only further inflame the partisan divide in Washington. ... I welcomed the opportunity to meet personally with Patricia Millett, and was impressed by her legal credentials, and I certainly appreciate her experiences as a military spouse. But given the DC Circuit's declining caseload, the addition of a new judge to this bench isn't justified."

Sen. Wicker Statement on the ‘Nuclear Option’
(Republican - Mississippi) 11/21/13
“The raw abuse of power being displayed by Senate Democrats is reminiscent of their purely partisan efforts to pass Obamacare four years ago. Further, they have tarnished the integrity of the institution by ignoring 225 years of precedent and trampling the rights of the minority party and the millions of Americans we represent. The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be the most deliberative legislative body the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, actions taken today by the majority party have upended the chamber’s tradition of thoughtful and reasoned legislating.”

Sen. Johanns: Reid’s Action Muzzles Voices of Nebraskans in Senate
(Republican - Nebraska) 11/21/13
“We’re talking about lifetime appointments to the bench, and this change will allow the most radical of nominees to be confirmed. This is about Senate Democrats issuing a gag order on the voices of the minority, just to direct attention away from the disastrous health care law.”

Former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) on back-to-back filibuster rejections of D.C. Circuit nominees
(Republican - Maine) 11/18/13
Former Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said in an interview that the partisan warfare over the shape of the courts does little to thwart the public’s low regard for Congress. “It does contribute to the whole perception, the reality that the Congress is consistently dysfunctional and can’t agree on anything,” Snowe said. “When you have these back-to-back rejections of nominees, at some point it may be trying to reverse the results of the election.” ... In 2005, “we were all disposed towards attempting to come up with a resolution because it threatened the traditions of the United States Senate,” Snowe said. “Whether enough people feel that impetus [today] is another question.”

Sen. Blunt on Ronnie White renomination
(Republican - Missouri) 11/18/13
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said last week that he intended to return the “blue slip” on the White nomination, a sign-off from the home-state senators that is generally needed for the Judiciary Committee to take up the matter. Returning of “blue slips” is rather routine and does not suggest approval or support. “This is impacted by Ronnie White’s 10 years on the … Missouri Supreme Court, after his first nomination,” Blunt emphasized last week, while declining to take a position on the nomination itself.

Hatch Statement on Judiciary Committee Approval of Judge Carolyn McHugh for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
(Republican - Utah) 11/14/13
“Judge McHugh is an extremely well-respected jurist and I know she will do an outstanding job in this new role,” Hatch said. “Her varied legal experience to date has given her a great foundation for serving on the federal court, and I hope the Senate will act quickly so Judge McHugh can begin her service on the 10th Circuit.”

Sen. Moran Introduces Justice Moritz as Nominee for the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
(Republican - Kansas) 11/13/13
“Justice Moritz comes before the committee highly qualified and greatly prepared as the result of a distinguished legal career both in private and public practice,” Sen. Moran said. “Nancy was raised in the small Kansas town of Tipton. I know the people of Tipton well; I have witnessed their character, kindness, work ethic, and a genuine concern for others. I am confident this sense of community has been instilled in our nominee and that her service on the Tenth Circuit will be guided by the values we hold dear in Kansas, including empathy for others and respect for the rule of law.”

VIDEO: Sen. Kirk Encourages Swift Confirmation of Manish Shah: Anti-Corruption Record Important for Northern District
(Republican - Illinois) 11/13/13
“Manish Shah heads the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s office where he has substantial management responsibility," Senator Kirk said. "He is responsible for overseeing the work of over 130 people – more than most U.S. Attorney offices. As a federal trial judge, Senator Durbin and I agree Manish Shah will be outstanding in his service to our country."

Sen. Alexander Votes Against Obama Judicial Nominee: Says vote to end debate on nomination of Cornelia Pillard to D.C. Circuit would be “premature”
(Republican - Tennessee) 11/12/13
“I voted against ending debate on President Obama’s nominee to the D.C. Circuit because I think such a vote would be premature,” Alexander said. “I’ll not vote to end debate on the president’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit until the Senate does in 2013 what Democratic senators suggested and the Senate did in 2007: move judges from where they are not needed to where they are needed most.”

Sen. Toomey Introduces PA’s Eastern District Nominees At Senate Judiciary Hearing
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 11/08/13
"I was honored to introduce Gerald McHugh and Judge Edward Smith during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting," said Sen. Toomey. "I've worked closely with Sen. Casey on judicial nominations for our state to help confirm qualified, experienced individuals with unquestioned honesty, ability, and integrity. I am confident these nominees will live up to those standards and hope the Senate confirms them in a timely manner."