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Senator Statements


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Sen. Moran Supports Terrence Campbell as Nominee for United States District Court for the District of Kansas
(Republican - Kansas) 01/29/16
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today signaled support for the nomination of Mr. Terrence Campbell of Lawrence, Kan., to fill a judicial vacancy in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. “Providing advice and consent for Presidential nominees is one of the most important roles of the United States Senate and a responsibility I take very seriously,” Sen. Moran said. “Mr. Campbell is a respected lawyer with high qualifications that make him a strong nominee to fill the vacant federal judgeship in the District of Kansas. I look forward to supporting his Senate confirmation.”

GA Sens. talk to Huff Post about Sen. Perdue denial of hearing to Dax Lopez, district court nominee he had recommended
(Republican - Georgia) 01/29/16
His change of heart on Lopez caught some people off guard, including Isakson, who said it was the wrong move. "I respect his decision, but I think he should have had a hearing," Isakson told The Huffington Post on Thursday. "He was vetted thoroughly before he was nominated, so he's a good man." HuffPost caught up with Perdue and asked why he wouldn't give Lopez a hearing so he could at least answer questions about his role at GALEO. That's what Lopez himself has said is the most frustrating aspect of it all. "Part of my responsibility as a member of the committee is that, if I blue slip a person, I feel like I have to support that person," Perdue said. That's not true, though. Agreeing to give someone a hearing doesn't mean you have to vote for them. It just means they get a hearing. Perdue disagreed. "No, I felt like I have that responsibility to the committee," he said. "If I'm not going to support the nominee, why would I recommend him for a hearing?" When HuffPost said doing so would let the full committee decide if Lopez should move forward, Perdue was done with the conversation. "Well, that was my decision. Thank you," he said, walking away.

AP quotes Sen. Moran looking forward to supporting Senate confirmation of Campbell district court nomination
(Republican - Kansas) 01/29/16
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, in an email Friday said he looks forward to supporting his Senate confirmation. "Providing advice and consent for Presidential nominees is one of the most important roles of the United States Senate and a responsibility I take very seriously," Moran said. "Mr. Campbell is a respected lawyer with high qualifications that make him a strong nominee to fill the vacant federal judgeship in the District of Kansas."

Sen. Toomey on Judiciary Committee approval of two PA district court nominees and delay of two others
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 01/29/16
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, also said he was glad for Baxter and Horan's approval in the committee, adding, "I hope the Judiciary Committee also will approve Judge Robert J. Colville to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Judge John M. Younge to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania."

Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Business Meeting January 28, 2016
(Republican - Iowa) 01/28/16
"We have three nominees to be District Court Judge. They are: - Mary McElroy, District of Rhode Island - Susan Baxter, Western District of Pennsylvania - Marilyn Horan, Western District of Pennsylvania I’d note that we didn’t include the other two district court nominees from Pennsylvania on this week’s agenda. Members on our side are still reviewing their records and answers to written questions. After consulting with the Senators from Pennsylvania, they indicated they’d like the Pennsylvania nominees on today’s agenda to move out of Committee, so we will vote on all three nominees on the agenda today."

Sen. Toomey: Judge Nominees for Pittsburgh and Erie Clear Judiciary Committee
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 01/28/16
"I am delighted that Judges Baxter and Horan are one step closer to Senate confirmation with the Judiciary Committee's favorable action today," said Sen. Toomey. "It's an honor to work with Sen. Casey on a bipartisan basis to recommend Pennsylvanians who have the acumen, integrity, and respect for the limited role of the judiciary that they need to excel as federal judges. And we have had great success over the years. "I am especially glad to see progress in confirming a judge who will sit in the federal courthouse in Erie, which has been vacant for 2 ½ years. "I hope the Judiciary Committee also will approve Judge Robert J. Colville to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Judge John M. Younge to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania."

Sen. Isakson on Sen. Perdue blocking hearing on Judge Dax Lopez distrct court nomination
(Republican - Georgia) 01/21/16
Sen. Isakson said he respected Perdue’s decision but is “disappointed that Judge Lopez won’t get a hearing.”

Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
(Republican - Iowa) 01/21/16
"We have three nominees to be District Court Judge. They are: - Mary McElroy, District of Rhode Island - Susan Baxter, Western District of Pennsylvania - Marilyn Horan, Western District of Pennsylvania This is the first time they are on the agenda and there is a request to hold them over, so they’ll be held over. I’d note that we didn’t include the other two district court nominees from Pennsylvania on this week’s agenda. Those nominees didn’t thoroughly answer several of the written questions we asked. We then sent follow-up written questions seeking clarification. While we are currently reviewing these responses to the follow-up questions I will say it’s important that nominees respect the process and respond to the questions Senators ask."

Senator David Perdue Statement On Georgia Judicial Nomination
(Republican - Georgia) 01/21/16
“Considering a nominee for lifetime appointment to our federal courts is one of the most significant responsibilities I have as a United States Senator and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I take this responsibility all the more seriously when considering nominees to federal courts in my home state of Georgia. “After a thorough review of the professional and judicial record of DeKalb County Judge Dax Lopez, I have become uncomfortable with his longstanding participation in a controversial organization including his service on its board of directors. I am particularly concerned with his continued participation with this organization and his public comments after he became a state judge. Unfortunately, our personal meeting, while cordial and informative, did not fully alleviate my concerns. Furthermore, I believe similar concerns would be raised by many of my colleagues, making Judge Lopez’s final confirmation unattainable. “I thank Judge Lopez for his service to the people of DeKalb County, but I am unable to support his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia moving forward.”

Sen. Coats Responds to President’s Nominations for Indiana Judicial Vacancies
(Republican - Indiana) 01/12/16
Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today announced that he will support the nomination of Winfield Denton Ong in order to address the pressing judicial emergency in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana....“The Judicial Conference of the United States has declared a judicial emergency in Indiana’s Southern District, and this important role needs to be filled quickly,” said Coats. “The role demands a sharp legal mind and a thoughtful, fair temperament. After carefully reviewing Winfield Ong’s record and background and meeting with him personally, I believe he is qualified for this position.” ... In addition to nominating Ong, the White House also announced the nomination of Myra Selby for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Coats reiterated his call for the establishment of an Indiana Federal Nominating Commission to make recommendations on this and other judicial vacancies affecting the Hoosier state. Senator Coats originally called for the creation of a judicial selection commission last May. “The citizens of Indiana will be best served by a nomination process that is taken completely out of politics,” said Coats. “We still have time to establish an equitable process for the remainder of this Congress. Myra Selby’s nomination should be considered by an Indiana Federal Nominating Commission.”

Sen. Ron Johnson Responds to Judicial Nomination of Donald K. Schott
(Republican - Wisconsin) 01/12/16
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) responded Tuesday to news of the nomination of Donald Karl Schott of Madison to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit. Johnson said this: "While I remain disappointed that the process that resulted in the successful confirmation of two district court's judges was short-circuited in the case of Mr. Schott's nomination, I will review this appointment thoroughly and fairly. Until a candidate is nominated by the White House, his background check by the FBI is not made available to senators. Now that Mr. Schott has been nominated, I plan to review his file and conduct other appropriate vetting before making any determinations."

Sen. Lee on confirmation of judges in Presidential election year
(Republican - Utah) 01/11/16
GOP senators have privately discussed when to begin cutting off judges this year ... “It’s almost always the case that that happens at some point. So I’m sure at some point we’ll invoke the [Patrick] Leahy-Thurmond rule, which typically involves at a minimum halting confirmation on any circuit court and Supreme Court nominees that are going to be made,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who chairs the conservative Republican Steering Committee.

Sen. Toomey Floor Statement [on Judge Restrepo and other Judicial Nominees and Vacancies]
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 01/11/16
"Senator Casey and I have been working very closely for 5 years now, since I joined the Senate, working to fill the vacancies that occur on the Federal bench across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that we represent. With Judge Restrepo's confirmation tonight, which I am hopeful and confident will occur, Senator Casey and I will have been able to play a role in filling 16 vacancies on the Federal bench, including 14 district court vacancies that have occurred since the time I arrived in Senate and two Third Circuit court vacancies....Because we have worked closely together, not only have we filled these vacancies, but we have filled courthouses--Federal courthouses meant to house Federal judges--that have been vacant for years.... I think, and I hope, we are close to filling an empty courthouse in Erie, PA. Erie is kind of by itself out there in the northwest corner of our great State, and there ought to be Federal judge in the Erie courthouse. We are well in the process of making sure that there will be, and I am sure it will come to a close soon."

POLITICO quotes Sen. Cornyn on judicial nominees
(Republican - Texas) 01/11/16
Beyond the four already slated for votes, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the nominee pipeline isn’t quite entirely closed. “There is a point at which, traditionally, no additional judicial nominees are considered until the election,” Cornyn said. “There’s no formal rule or plan to my knowledge” to begin a cutoff now.

[Sen. Toomey] Casey, Toomey Announce Senate Confirmation of Luis Felipe Restrepo to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 01/11/16
"It is great news for Pennsylvania that Judge Restrepo will soon serve our nation on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals," said Sen. Toomey. "I am pleased Judge Restrepo was confirmed by a bipartisan vote. "As both a federal magistrate and district judge, Judge Restrepo has served the people of Pennsylvania honorably and with distinction and will continue to do so. Senator Casey and I originally recommended Judge Restrepo to the White House for a seat on the federal district court, and I believe that he will also make a superb addition to the Third Circuit based in Philadelphia."

Sen. Grassley: Judicial Nominations Update, Luis Restrepo Confirmation for the Congressional Record
(Republican - Iowa) 01/11/16
"For example, last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings for 35 nominees. That’s exactly what the Committee did in 2007, when we also held hearings for a total of 35 nominees. Furthermore, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, there is no judicial vacancy “crisis.” ...The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to hold hearings this year on judicial nominees and we’ll continue to do our due diligence in evaluating those nominees. ... But I don’t view it as a productive effort to continue with the finger pointing and the negative back and forth regarding the previous pace or outcome of judicial nominations."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes Sen. Isakson re: Dax Lopex district court nomination
(Republican - Georgia) 01/08/16
Another signal that DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez’s nomination to the federal bench is showing signs of life: U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson issued sounded a somewhat optimistic note. “The nomination process and confirmation process is not like a football game where there are rules. But it’s progressing,” he said. “And I think it will progress by the first quarter. Sometime in that time period.”

GA Sens. still noncommittal on allowing hearing for Dax Lopez district court nominee
(Republican - Georgia) 12/24/15
By custom, home-state senators must approve of a nominee before he or she goes to the full Judiciary Committee, a process known as providing a “blue slip.” Georgia’s senators are noncommittal about Lopez’s future. “It’s going to be taken up in the Judiciary Committee early next year,” Perdue said. “We’re in the process of evaluating that whole situation. … I take it very seriously. We have a process with our staff and in Georgia to make sure we do the right thing, both for the people of Georgia and the people who get nominated.” Isakson added that “we are doing our due diligence.”... “When you’re in the eighth year of a two-term presidency and talking about judicial employment, that’s a legacy issue,” Isakson said. “That’s a policy not about a specific judge.”

Sen. Toomey: Bipartisan cooperation on judicial appointments: Sen. Casey and I, along with the White House, have worked on a bipartisan basis to fill judicial vacancies.
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 12/22/15
"When vacancies occur in the district courts, Sen. Casey and I vet and recommend candidates whom the president will then typically nominate. For vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, the White House, Sen. Casey, and I collaborate on a suitable nominee. ... On Dec. 9, the Senate agreed to schedule a confirmation vote for Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. That same day, four federal district judge nominees for Pennsylvania – including one to fill the vacant courthouse in Erie – received a hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee and are one step closer to getting confirmed. If all five of these nominations are approved by the Senate, and I am confident they will be, Sen. Casey and I will have worked together to confirm a total of 20 judges to Pennsylvania’s federal courts – significant progress for our state."

Republican Home-State Senators Urge Immediate Action on Federal Judicial Nominees
(Republican - Utah, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa) 12/22/15

Sen. Fischer on Nebraska federal judicial nominee
(Republican - Nebraska) 12/21/15
Nebraska’s legal community had hoped to see Omaha attorney Robert Rossiter Jr. confirmed as the state’s next federal judge by the end of this year. Instead, Rossiter will be cooling his heels at least a few more months after a couple of Iowa nominees cut in front of him.... Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa was blunt when asked why two pending nominations from his home state had been bumped up the calendar. “Because I’m chairman of the committee,” Grassley said, referring to his position as head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. ... Grassley acknowledged that he had heard from Nebraska’s senators, both of whom have pushed for Rossiter’s approval. “I’ve been hearing from them for six weeks, maybe two months,” Grassley said.... Sen. Deb Fischer ... has repeatedly called for a speedy confirmation, saying Nebraska has a “small bench and a full docket.” ... Fischer told The World-Herald last week that she was disappointed in the news that Rossiter was bypassed but showed little desire to criticize Grassley. “We’ll get it done,” she said. “Everybody runs their committee differently."

Sen. Grassley: Iowa Federal Judicial Nominees to Receive Vote After Senate Convenes Next Year
(Republican - Iowa) 12/18/15
Senator Chuck Grassley said today that two Iowans who have been nominated by President Barack Obama for federal judgeships will be voted on by the full Senate early next year. ... “These two Iowans are uniquely qualified to be federal judges and have exceptional credentials. I’m glad they will be voted on by the full Senate in short order,” Grassley said. Grassley recommended Strand and Ebinger to the White House after an extensive effort by a Judicial Selection Commission that Grassley formed after two judges announced their intention to take senior status.

Sen. Hatch Applauds Nomination of Ronald G. Russell to U.S. District Court
(Republican - Utah) 12/17/15
U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), a senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) in recommending Russell’s nomination to the President and applauded the announcement. “I’m extraordinarily pleased that the President has nominated Ron Russell to join the federal bench in Utah,” Hatch said. “Ron possesses a broad range of experience—from private practice to local government to a clerkship on the very court to which he has been nominated—that have made him a widely respected member of the bar. I am confident that Ron will make an excellent jurist, and I will work to help ensure his timely confirmation by the Senate.”... Russell has been nominated to a seat that has been vacant since September 1, 2014, when Judge Brian Stewart took senior status. Over his 39 years of service in the United States Senate, Sen. Hatch has been in involved in the confirmation of 72% of the judges who have ever served on Utah’s federal district court, three-quarters of which have been confirmed unanimously.

Sens. Inhofe, Lankford Announce Judicial Nominees for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
(Republican - Oklahoma) 12/16/15
“I’m pleased that the White House has nominated Judge Suzanne Mitchell and Scott Palk to the U.S. Federal Court for the Western District, and I congratulate both nominees,” Inhofe said. “This nomination process for these seats has been unnecessarily long, and so I am pleased it has come to a conclusion with two very capable nominees. I fully support their nominations because they have distinguished service in the public sector, valuable private sector experience, and the temperament to serve the state, the interest of justice, and the parties who appear in their courts.” “Both Judge Mitchell and Scott Palk are impressive nominees for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma,” Lankford said. “We look forward to their nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmation by the full Senate. Though I have had many disagreements with the White House, we agree that Judge Mitchell and Scott Palk are fair-minded and will uphold the strict rule of law. I am confident they will serve our state and nation well.”

Sen. Lee looks forward to "speedy confirmation" of Ronald G. Russell district court nomination
(Republican - Utah) 12/16/15
Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee recommended Russell....Lee added his strong endorsement: "This is a good day for the federal judiciary and for Utah. Ron is an extraordinary talent, and I look forward to a speedy confirmation so that he can get to work."

Sen. McConnell on judicial nominations
(Republican - Kentucky) 12/15/15
Sen. McConnell wouldn't say what he has planned for next year in an interview earlier Tuesday at Politico's Playbook Breakfast. "There isn't any particular official or unofficial cutoff date" for confirming judges, he said.

Restrepo: Sen. McConnell "happy to" [delay] "top priority for Sen. Toomey" [another month]
(Republican - Kentucky) 12/10/15
The Senate on Wednesday scheduled a vote for next month on Luis Felipe Restrepo’s long-pending nomination to fill a Third Circuit seat that has been vacant for more than two years ...Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Restrepo has been awaiting confirmation for more than a year since his November 2014 presidential nomination .... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proclaimed the Jan. 11 vote on the Senate floor Wednesday, saying the move was of great importance to Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who has been accused of dragging his feet on Restrepo’s nomination after approving it in May. “Scheduling of a vote on this nomination has been a top priority for Sen. Toomey,” McConnell said. “We’re happy to do that just now.”

Sen. Risch on process to fill vacancy in one of two ID federal district court judgeships
(Republican - Idaho) 12/10/15
“The process is ongoing and not yet complete,” Risch’s spokeswoman Suzanne Wrasse wrote in an email. “The senator will have a comment once the White House makes a selection.”

Sen. Toomey looks forward to "prompt confirmation" of four Pennsylvania judicial nominees
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 12/09/15
"The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a hearing to consider nominations for four Pennsylvania judicial candidates selected by President Obama to fill seats on the federal bench.... Toomey echoed Casey's sentiments and touted that since he has been working with Casey over the last five years, "we have been able to fill 15 vacancies on the bench in Pennsylvania." He added, "I'm particularly looking forward to a prompt confirmation for these four nominees.""

[Sen. Toomey] Casey, Toomey Statements on Confirmation Hearing for Four Candidates to U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 12/09/15
"I was pleased to speak on behalf of Judge Susan P. Baxter, Judge Robert J. Colville, Judge Marilyn J. Horan, and Judge John M. Younge at today's hearing," said Sen. 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. As we have done over the years, I look forward to working with Sen. Casey on a bipartisan basis to have these outstanding nominees confirmed by the Senate."