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Senator Statements


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Sen. Grassley statement on Iowa district court nominee
(Republican - Iowa) 09/15/15
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who recommended Ebinger in April, said he appreciated the White House working with him to move forward on this nomination. “The Southern District of Iowa will benefit greatly from Judge Ebinger’s background and expertise, and I have great confidence that she will serve with distinction,” Grassley said in a statement Tuesday. “The five commissioners who made the recommendation to me, and spent hundreds of hours to vet dozens of very qualified candidates, deserve a lot of credit.”

Interview of Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley's Chief Counsel, Nominations
(Republican - Iowa) 09/14/15
As nominations counsel for Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, it falls to Ted Lehman to ensure the panel's chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, made good on his vow — at the start of the 114th Congress in January — to thoroughly vet and move through the committee all consensus nominees that would come his way. Despite Democrats' charges that Republicans have been lackadaisical in filling executive and judicial vacancies, Lehman said the panel has been diligent. "My role ... is to work with the White House, the ranking [committee] member's staff — as well as other Senate staff — on the chairman's behalf as the committee does its due diligence," said Lehman, who's served on Grassley's staff since 2011.

Sen. Toomey on filling judicial vacancies
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 09/14/15
“And I will say I also work closely with Senator Casey whenever I can,” Toomey stated. “And one of the areas we work closely together regularly is filling vacancies on the federal bench. The fact is in the four and a half or so years since I have been in the Senate we have been able to recruit, vet, nominate, and confirm, fifteen men and women to the federal bench across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. And, in that period of time, only California and New York can match or exceed those numbers.”

Sen. Cornyn Congratulates Judge Olvera on his Swearing-In
(Republican - Texas) 08/31/15
“Judge Olvera, an outstanding leader in his community, comes to the federal bench with years of experience, and I have great confidence that he will continue to serve the Rio Grande Valley and Texas honorably. I was proud to support Judge Olvera’s nomination in the Senate, and I congratulate him and his family on his swearing-in today.” Sen. Cornyn recommended Judge Olvera’s nomination to President Obama after he was screened by the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas to help identify the most qualified candidates to fill these vacancies.

Sens. Cornyn, Cruz Seek Applications for Texas Judgeships and U.S. Attorney Vacancies
(Republican - Texas) 08/31/15
Senators Cornyn and Cruz are accepting applications for two judicial and two U.S. Attorney vacancies in Texas. The Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC), a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, will review applications, interview candidates, and make recommendations to the Senators. The judicial vacancies are in the Eastern (Tyler) and Southern (Brownsville) Districts. “Texans deserve able, fair, and independent prosecutors and judges, and I encourage all interested candidates to step forward and answer the call to serve their state so we can fill these openings as soon as possible,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The FJEC selection process ensures Texans have the best, most qualified judges and prosecutors defending their rights in court,” 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.”

Sen. Cornyn Letter to the Editor on Judicial Vacancies
(Republican - Texas) 08/28/15
"Ensuring federal courts in Texas have the best judges is vital, which is why I have been working with the Obama administration to fill these openings as they arise. Along with Sen. Ted Cruz, I have established the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, to identify the most qualified candidates to help fill vacancies. Since President Obama took office, he has nominated and the Senate has confirmed 12 consensus nominees to fill judicial vacancies in Texas. I was proud to recommend all of them, including U.S. District Judge José Rolando Olvera Jr., who was just sworn in this week in Brownsville. Our bipartisan committee will soon begin accepting applications for vacancies in Brownsville and Tyler, too. As a former judge, I understand the importance of having high-caliber legal minds on the bench, and I will continue to work to ensure Texas has the best and brightest judges in these important posts."

Sen. Rubio continues to withhold blue slip for Mary Barzee Flores hearing
(Republican - Florida) 08/18/15
The vacancy in the Southern District [of Florida] has a pending nominee: former Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mary Barzee Flores. Nominated by President Barack Obama on Feb. 26, Barzee Flores, now a shareholder at Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, has waited nearly six months for a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing. The hearing can proceed only after U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio return so-called blue slips to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirming their support for home-state nominees. Nelson has returned the slip, but Rubio has not, Ferrulo said. "The Senate Judiciary Committee is still conducting a full review of the nominee's background and record," Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos said in an email Tuesday. "After that review is complete, Senator Rubio will determine how to proceed."

Sen. Crapo: Process to find replacement for Judge Lodge is 'proceeding'
(Republican - Idaho) 08/13/15
Asked how things are going on finding a replacement for U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, who took senior status July 3 but has been in a just-concluded terrorism trial ever since, with no replacement in sight, Sen. Mike Crapo told Eye on Boise, “They are proceeding.” Crapo said he’s heard the speculation that he and fellow Republican Sen. Jim Risch are stalling the process to wait until a newly elected Republican president can make the appointment. “That’s simply not true,” Crapo said. “We are working very aggressively and trying to move forward the process. The Senate advises and consents, the president nominates. We are in that process of advising and working with the White House.”

Sen. Gardner Announces Evaluation Committee to Fill Colorado Judgeship
(Republican - Colorado) 08/03/15
Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today announced a Judicial Evaluation Committee that will begin vetting applicants for an upcoming vacancy on the U.S. District Court of Colorado. In April 2016, Judge Robert Blackburn will take senior status, creating a vacancy on the seven-judge bench. The number of judgeships on the court has remained the same for over 30 years, despite the state’s population growing by 65 percent and judicial workload steadily increasing. Now the court is one of the busiest in the country, with over 600 weighted cases per judgeship. Filling this vacancy quickly would keep the District Court fully staffed and at least maintain the status quo.... “I take my responsibility to recommend Colorado judicial nominees to the President seriously and there is particular urgency in filling this vacancy,” said Gardner. “I am confident that the members of the Committee, who are some of Colorado’s finest legal experts, will thoroughly review all applications and make careful recommendations based on each applicant’s merits and qualifications. I encourage Coloradans interested in serving on the District Court to submit an application, and I look forward to seeing the Committee’s recommendations.”

Sen. Grassley blocks Floor votes on unopposed nominees to fill judicial emergency vacancies
(Republican - Iowa) 07/30/15
"So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Senator Schumer."

[Sen. Toomey] Casey, Toomey Applaud Nomination of Four Candidates to U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 07/30/15
"I am pleased that President Obama will nominate Judge Susan P. Baxter, Judge Robert J. Colville, Judge Marilyn J. Horan, and Judge John M. Younge to serve on the federal district court in Pennsylvania," said Senator Toomey. "These nominees possess a wealth of legal experience from their work in both the public and private sectors. I am confident that they have the acumen, integrity, and respect for the limited role of the judiciary that they need to excel as federal judges. Moreover, today is especially good news for Erie since the city’s federal courthouse will have a sitting judge for the first time in 2 years. As we have done over the years, I look forward to working with Senator Casey on a bipartisan basis to have these outstanding nominees confirmed by the Senate."

GA Senators on Obama nomination of Judge Dax López for federal judgeship
(Republican - Georgia) 07/30/15
"Said Perdue: “I congratulate Judge Dax Lopez of DeKalb County on his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to meeting Judge Lopez and exploring his judicial philosophy during the confirmation process.” Added Isakson: “I welcome the nomination and look forward to meeting with Judge López during the confirmation process.”

Sen. Grassley: Iowan Leonard Strand Nominated for Federal Judgeship
(Republican - Iowa) 07/21/15
Here is Grassley’s comment on today’s announcement. “Judge Strand has impeccable credentials and very much deserves this nomination. I appreciate the White House working with me to move his nomination forward. The five commissioners who made the recommendation to me, and spent hundreds of hours to vet dozens of very qualified candidates, deserve a lot of credit. I’m confident, like the White House, that Judge Strand will serve with distinction.”

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"

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."

Sen. Alexander Statement on Senate Judiciary Committee Approval of Waverly Crenshaw and Travis McDonough to be U.S. District Judges in Tennessee
(Republican - Tennessee) 07/09/15
“Tennessee will be well-served by Waverly Crenshaw and Travis McDonough. They are men of good character and good temperament, and I am glad the Judiciary Committee voted to approve the nominations so that their nominations can now be considered by the full Senate.”

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."

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. Boozman on diversity on the federal bench
(Republican - Arkansas) 07/07/15
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman introduced legislation today to rename the Helena-West Helena Federal building in honor of Judge Jacob Trieber. “Judge Trieber paved the way for diversity on the federal bench as the first Jewish federal judge. His work on the bench helped fight injustice and laid the foundation for equality with a lasting civic legacy that continues to impact our country. I’m proud to honor Judge Trieber for his contributions to Arkansas and the United States,” Boozman said.

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"

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."

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.""

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.”

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. 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.

Sen. Grassley statement on judicial nominations to Des Moines Register Editorial Board
(Republican - Iowa) 06/11/15
"Grassley assures that he is moving ahead on all judicial nominees that have sent over from the White House, including courts of appeals judges, which can be contentious, and trial-court judges, which typically are less controversial. "The Judiciary Committee is moving nominees through the process in the same timeframe, or even better, as established under the former majority," Grassley said in a statement sent to the Register. Grassley's staff said he is moving judicial nominees out of the committee at the same pace as the committee did during the last two years of President George W. Bush's term, when the Senate was controlled by the Democrats.... Grassley also uses an important qualifier when talking about the nominees he will move through his committee, however: only those with bipartisan support. "I've said from my first day as chairman that I'll seek to move consensus nominees," Grassley said. "Senator McConnell knows that nominees must have both Republican and Democrat support, or the simple math tells us that they won't get 50 votes.""

Sen. Sasse Statement on Nomination of Robert Rossiter
(Republican - Nebraska) 06/11/15
“I am tremendously grateful that for nearly two years—first alongside Senator Johanns and now as our state’s Senior Senator—Deb Fischer worked tirelessly to see that the Administration nominates a qualified and well-respected Nebraskan. Bob Rossiter is a qualified nominee with a breadth of experience and I trust he will receive strong bipartisan support in the Senate.”