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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

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Senator Statements


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Sen. McConnell on judicial nominees for Western District of Kentucky
(Republican - Kentucky) 06/19/14
Sen. Mitch McConnell said: “Since these vacancies occurred, I have maintained in my consultations with the White House that they be filled with respected, mainstream Kentucky lawyers who understand that their proper role is to faithfully interpret the law, not re-write it or rule according to their personal preferences. Mr. Hale and Mr. Stivers meet these criteria and will serve our Commonwealth well. I am glad the Administration, Senator Paul, and I were able to work together to fill these important positions.”

Sen. Kirk on voting no on district court nomination
(Republican - Illinois) 06/17/14
Kirk said in a statement, "During my interview with Staci Yandle, it was clear to me that she had insufficient federal court or criminal law experience to be confirmed as a federal judge for the Southern District of Illinois."

Sen. Casey: Casey, Toomey Applaud Nomination of Joseph Leeson to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Allentown Courthouse to Host Two Permanent Federal District Court Judges for the First Time
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 06/16/14
"I am happy that President Obama has nominated Jay Leeson to join Judge James Knoll Gardner in Allentown as a district court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania," said Senator Toomey. "For the first time, the Allentown courthouse will have two sitting federal district court judges. This is a great day for the city, and I am confident that Mr. Leeson will excel on the federal bench. I will continue working with Senator Casey to get this nominee confirmed by the Senate as soon as possible."

Senators Casey, Toomey Applaud Nomination of Four Candidates to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Beetlestone, Kearney, Leeson and Pappert nominated to fill federal judicial vacancies
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 06/16/14
"I am happy that President Obama will nominate Wendy Beetlestone, Mark Kearney, and Jerry Pappert to be district court judges in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania," said Senator Toomey. "These nominees, who will all sit in Philadelphia, as well as Joseph Leeson, who will preside in Allentown, possess a wealth of legal experience based on their work in both the public and private sectors. I am confident that they will excel as federal judges, and I will continue working with Senator Casey to get these outstanding nominations confirmed by the Senate as soon as possible."

Sen. Grassley Statement on Judicial Nominations
(Republican - Iowa) 06/10/14
"Although I will be supporting the nominees from Virginia and Massachusetts, unfortunately I will be unable to support the nomination of Richard Boulware II"

Sen. Heller Floor Statement in favor of district court nominee
(Republican - Nevada) 06/09/14
"Richard Boulware is an excellent example of an accomplished nominee who should be confirmed on a bipartisan basis. I believe Mr. Boulware embodies the characteristics of a nominee who is prepared to serve and that he will make an excellent district court judge for the State of Nevada. After sitting down with him and discussing his nomination at length, I found him to be an extremely impressive nominee.

Sen. Lindsey Graham Floor Statement for district court nominee
(Republican - South Carolina) 06/04/14
"Senator Scott and I would ask the membership to vote aye for Bruce Howe Hendricks. She is a former U.S. magistrate. She is a former U.S. attorney from the State of South Carolina. She has received numerous awards for a scholarship. She is well respected by both Republicans and Democrats. She has a rich judicial background and will be a great choice to assume the Federal bench in South Carolina, and she was rated unanimously ``well qualified'' by the ABA. I strongly support her nomination."

Sen. Cruz Floor Statement opposing David Barron nomination to the First Circuit
(Republican - Texas) 05/21/14
"I have known Mr. Barron for a long time. He and I were classmates in law school. He is a smart man. He is a talented man. He is a professor at Harvard Law School and he is a well-respected professor. However, Mr. Barron is an unabashed judicial activist. He is an unapologetic and vocal advocate for judges applying liberal policy from the bench and disregarding the terms of the Constitution and the laws of the land. If the Members of this body vote to confirm him, we will bear responsibility for undermining liberty and undermining the rule of law in this country."

Sen. Paul Issues Statement on Barron Nomination
(Republican - Kentucky) 05/15/14
"I shall not only oppose the nomination of David Barron, but will filibuster"

(Republican - Arizona) 05/14/14
"“The federal district court in Arizona has been under tremendous strain these past few years, and the confirmation of these six judges will be a great relief to an overburdened court, one which is consistently ranked as one of the top ten busiest in the country. Of the 13 authorized judgeships for this court, 6 are currently vacant. This, together with the large caseload, led the District of Arizona to be declared a ‘judicial emergency’ in 2011. This has created an untenable situation for the court in Arizona, and the confirmation of these nominees is critical to ensure that the administration of justice is timely and fair for the people of Arizona. “The slate of nominees before the Senate is the product of consensus, cooperation, and careful deliberation, selected with the help of a non-partisan judiciary evaluation commission. They saw overwhelming support in the Judiciary Committee ... “Diane Humetewa has an impressive legal background, ranging from work as prosecutor and an appellate court judge to the Hopi Nation to service as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Plus, hers is a truly historic nomination. If confirmed, she would be the first Native American woman to ever serve on the federal bench."

Sen. Flake Floor Statement for Arizona district court nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 05/14/14
"I thank the senior Senator from Arizona Mr. McCain for the work he has done to bring this panel forward with six judges to be confirmed this week. That is a big deal, a big deal for any State, and for a State such as Arizona that has had such a shortage for so long, this is particularly important.... what a thrill it was to be on the Judiciary Committee and have all six of these prospective judges come with their families and talk about their experience and how it would relate to their new role if they were to be confirmed. It was great to be there to see Diane Humetewa and family and note that on the reservation there were many other family members watching that hearing being streamed and being proud that the first female Native American would be on the Federal bench. ... It was a pleasure working with Senator McCain and with the White House and the President in bringing these nominations forward. I urge my colleagues to vote both for cloture and for final confirmation of these three judges today and hopefully the other three tomorrow or later. I appreciate the President making these nominations. Arizona has waited a long time to fill these judgeships and we are pleased to do so this week."

Sen. McCain Floor Statement on Historic Vote on Diane Humetewa district court nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 05/14/14
"I would like to mention to my colleagues that with this vote we will be making history in some respects. We should all be proud that this nominee, Diane Humetewa of the Hopi Tribe, will be the first Native-American woman to be on the Federal bench. I would appreciate a positive vote. It is a proud moment for her, her tribe, and for Native Americans."

Sen. Grassley Statement at Hearing for Georgia Judicial Nominees
(Republican - Iowa) 05/13/14
"As Senators, nearly every nominee who comes through our committee has taken some position that we may disagree with. That is why home state support is so important. And as I’ve said, all these nominees have the support of both the President and their home state Senators. I’ve given great deference to the home state senators’ support when reaching decisions on whether to support nominees. I believe home state support is important to the process, the Senate, and the Judiciary. In fact, very soon the full Senate will consider 6 district court nominees from Arizona. Even though I have some concerns about several of these nominees, I plan to support them, in part out of deference to the home state senators who recommended them."

Sen. Isakson introduces seven home-state nominees for circuit and district court at their Judiciary Committee hearing
(Republican - Georgia) 05/13/14
"I associate myself with all of the remarks made by Sen. Chambliss. We are presenting to you today seven very qualified lawyers to be on the bench of the circuit court and the district court of our state of Georgia.... without reservation or qualification all seven of these individuals meet every one of those tasks.... We would appreciate you looking favorably upon their confirmation."

Sen. Chambliss introduces seven home-state district and circuit court nominees at their Judiciary Committee hearing
(Republican - Georgia) 05/13/14
"Each and every one of these individuals would be an asset to the federal bench no matter where they sat, but given the growing caseloads for judges on the Eleventh Circuit and on the Northern and Middle Districts, their confirmations are particularly important."

Sen. Paul NY Times Op-Ed: Show Us the Drone Memos
(Republican - Kentucky) 05/11/14

Sen. Ron Johnson Floor Statement for James Peterson district court nomination
(Republican - Wisconsin) 05/08/14
"I am pleased to recommend to the Senate James D. Peterson to be the U.S. district judge for the Western District of Wisconsin.... Jim has my full support, and I am happy to recommend him to the Senate for swift confirmation. I would like to conclude by thanking my colleague Senator Baldwin for the bipartisan process that resulted in the selection of this well-qualified jurist who will serve Wisconsin's Western District well. The Western District is currently facing a judicial emergency. U.S. district judge Barbara Crabb has continued to serve on the bench despite retiring 4 years ago, and I sincerely appreciate her dedication in the State of Wisconsin during this vacancy."

Wisconsin Senators Applaud Confirmation of Judge Peterson
(Republican - Wisconsin) 05/08/14
Sen. Ron Johnson said, “I appreciate all the hard work of those serving on our federal nominating commission, and I thank my colleague, Sen. Baldwin, for working with me on creating a successful bipartisan process. The result is the selection of a well-qualified jurist, James D. Peterson, who will serve the nation and the people of Wisconsin’s western district well.”

Sen. Grassley on Arizona and Georgia judicial nominees
(Republican - Iowa) 05/08/14
Asked by the Daily Report if Republican committee members had plans to defend Boggs, a spokeswoman for ranking minority member Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, referred the newspaper to Grassley's statement regarding a similar slate of federal judicial nominees from Arizona, whose confirmation hearings were in January. The committee forwarded the nominees to the full Senate by a voice vote. At the hearing, Grassley said the Arizona nominees represented "extensive negotiations and an eventual agreement between the home state senators and the White House." That agreement, he said, included "the understanding that all six nominees would move through the process together." Grassley praised the deal as "the type of collaborative process that is good for the judiciary and good for the Senate as an institution" that should be given "a great deal of deference."

Sen. Coats Statement on Indiana District Court Vacancy
(Republican - Indiana) 05/07/14
Coats indicated a willingness to be a part of the nomination process, noting he takes seriously his responsibility to provide advice and consent to the president on judicial nominees. He echoed Donnelly on the qualifications the individual must have to gain his approval. “Qualified candidates must have a profound respect for the law, unquestionable character and a reputation built on fairness and integrity,” Coats said.

Sen. Moran: Senate Confirms Nancy Moritz for the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
(Republican - Kansas) 05/05/14
“Justice Moritz joins the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court well prepared as the result of a distinguished legal career both in private and public practice, with 10 years of experience as a judge, including more than three as a justice on the Kansas Supreme Court,” Sen. Moran said. “In addition to her legal experience, Nancy was raised in the close-knit Kansas town of Tipton. I know the people of Tipton well, and I am confident Nancy’s service on the Tenth Circuit will be guided by the values we hold in Kansas, including empathy for others and respect for the rule of law.”

Sen. Grassley Floor Statement on Judicial Vacancies, Nominations & Confirmations
(Republican - Iowa) 05/05/14
"[T]he reason the vacancy rate is marginally higher than during President Bush's term is because President Obama has simply had more vacancies and more work to do in filling these vacancies during his Presidency. There have been more judges retiring now than during the last administration, which obviously creates more vacancies."

Senator Johnson Statement on Nomination of Pamela Pepper
(Republican - Wisconsin) 05/02/14
“I sincerely appreciate all the hard work of those serving on our federal nominating commission. I am pleased the bipartisan process resulted in the selection of another well qualified jurist that will serve the nation and the people of Wisconsin’s Eastern District well. I am happy to recommend Judge Pamela Pepper to the Senate for swift confirmation.”

Sen. Moran Floor Statement in support of 10th Circuit Nomination of Nancy Moritz
(Republican - Kansas) 05/01/14
"I speak in support of Justice Nancy Moritz. She is currently a supreme court justice on the Kansas Supreme Court , and she is before us today as a nominee to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. I appreciate working with my colleague Senator Roberts and those in the White House as we came together to try to find an acceptable and honorable nominee, and I believe we did.... as someone who is highly qualified, greatly prepared, and who has the necessary background. ... Ed Larson was a law partner of mine ... Of all the people I have met in life, and certainly many of the attorneys I have met in life and the judges, if you were looking for someone whose opinion and judgment you would trust, Judge Ed Larson is certainly that person. He has made clear to me that Justice Moritz was one of the very best law clerks he ever had, and he believes her to be highly qualified. With his recommendation, my judgment about Justice Moritz was even more increased and enhanced....suggests we have a great person to join the tenth circuit."