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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

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Senator Statements


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Sen. Inhofe on Filibuster Rule and Nominations
(Republican - Oklahoma) 09/28/14
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who stands to gain a plum chairmanship in the majority, said Republicans should determine how many liberal presidential confirmations Democrats gained by changing the rules and push through an equal number of conservative nominees whenever the GOP again controls both Congress and the White House. “We ought to be able to offset all of those with some very constitutional appointees and get the ones that Democrats wouldn’t like and go ahead and ram them through the same way. Simple majority,” he said.

Sen. Cornyn on Senate Control and Nominations
(Republican - Texas) 09/28/14
“It obviously gives us additional leverage to determine who the nominees are going to be and negotiate on the front end,” said Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). “There’s going to be some more earnest and intense discussions about who those nominees are.” ... “They clearly have no interest in letting Obama populate his administration. If you think that’s bad today, it will be even worse if they have control,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). Cornyn said that when he hears this Democratic allegation, “the little boy who cries wolf comes to mind.”

Sen. Thune on Filibuster Rule and Nominations
(Republican - South Dakota) 09/28/14
“There’s going to be a lot of resentment over the fact that the president jammed through so many appointments when they broke the rules. And there obviously will be people who would think that there ought to be an opportunity for us to get a chance to even that ledger,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 GOP leader. “Hopefully, we resolve it in a way that preserves the integrity of the institution but also recognizes the fact that because they broke the rules, they were able to jam through a whole bunch of nominees.”

Idaho Senators on judicial selection and need to create new judgeship
(Republican - Idaho) 09/25/14
U.S. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are likely to work with President Barack Obama to find a replacement for U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge.... Risch pointed to what he called the "blue-slip custom" in the U.S. Senate. "It's not widely discussed, but it is a common practice in the United States Senate," Risch said Thursday. "Unless both U.S. senators sign the blue slip and return it to the judiciary and rules committee, that (nominee) will not leave the judiciary and rules committee." He added that, by custom, every senator maintains some control of a nomination - with "veto power" - over who is appointed from the senator's state to the federal bench.... "I look forward to working with the president to select a nominee as part of the senate's role in the advice and consent process," Crapo said Thursday. Crapo said he also will continue to push for legislation sponsored by Idaho's congressional delegation to create a permanent third District Court judge for Idaho. Risch said initially there will likely be a lot of whispering about who should get the appointment. "There will be people who won't be acceptable to Senator Crapo or I, and there will be people who won't be acceptable to the president," Risch said. "But at the end of the day, we'll come up with somebody and fill the spot."

Sen. Hatch on the Nomination of Justice Jill N. Parrish to the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
(Republican - Utah) 09/19/14
“Justice Parrish has the kind of broad legal experience that has made the federal bench in Utah so outstanding. When confirmed by the Senate, she will actually be returning to the U.S. District Court, where she clerked after graduating from Yale Law School in 1985. After nearly a decade in private practice with one of Utah’s top firms, Justice Parrish served as a federal prosecutor until her appointment in 2003 to the Utah Supreme Court. She serves on the Utah Supreme Court’s Technology Committee at a time when both state and federal courts are developing ways that technology can make the judicial system more accessible and cost-efficient. Justice Parrish is well known and highly regarded in Utah’s legal community, and I know my colleagues in the Senate will respect her qualifications as much as I do and eventually confirm her to this position.”

Sens. Cornyn, Cruz applaud nominations for Texas’ Southern District Judgeships
(Republican - Texas) 09/19/14
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced the President has nominated Judge Alfred H. Bennett, Judge George C. Hanks, Jr., and Judge Jose Rolando Olvera, Jr. to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas: “I am pleased that the President has nominated three exceptional candidates for these important positions,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Their depth of experience and unqualified dedication to public service has uniquely prepared each of them to handle these new roles, and I hope the Senate will confirm their nominations.” ”Our judicial system depends on well-qualified judges to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Sen. Cruz. “I, along with my fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, have recommended three judges to President Obama who have been nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. “Our Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee seeks judges of the highest caliber, and we will continue to work with the White House to recommend candidates who have expressed a commitment to the law of the land.” Each of these candidates was recommended by Sens. Cornyn and Cruz to the President after being screened by their bipartisan Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC).

Sen. Toomey statement on Judiciary Committee approval of PA judicial nominees
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 09/18/14
"I applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee approving the nominations of Wendy Beetlestone, Mark Kearney, Jerry Pappert, and Jay Leeson to be district court judges in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania," Toomey said in a statement. "These nominees possess a wealth of legal experience based on their work in both the public and private sectors," he said. "I am confident that they will excel as federal judges, and I will continue working with Sen. Casey to get these outstanding nominations confirmed by the Senate as soon as possible." There is no timetable on when the nominations will go before the full Senate for a vote, a Toomey spokesman said Thursday. Toomey and Casey previously heralded Leeson's nomination as an important move toward bringing the Valley's two federal courts back to a much needed, full complement of judges.

Sen. Cornyn statement at Judiciary Committee hearing to Texas judicial nominees Mazzant, Pitman & Schroeder
(Republican - Texas) 09/09/14
"I want to congratulate each of those nominees for that honor ... I feel confident - certainly for the Texas nominees - that they will listen, be respectful and follow the law, and hopefully demonstrate patience”

Sen. Cruz statement at Judiciary Committee hearing to Texas judicial nominees Mazzant, Pitman & Schroeder
(Republican - Texas) 09/09/14
"I want to commend the three from Texas, because you would not be here if you had not very much impressed the members of that committee, and had you not impressed both Senator Cornyn and I. We met with each of you, and you had impressive professional credentials and a long career demonstrating the fidelity in the law that we expect from our judges."

Sen. Chambliss Floor Statement for Jill Pryor 11th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Georgia) 09/08/14
"The Eleventh Circuit will be well served by the addition of Ms. Pryor , and as I said in July before the Senate unanimously confirmed Judge Julie Carnes to this very same court, this is a vacancy that needs to be filled and needs to be filled quickly. Ms. Pryor certainly has the judicial as well as educational background to serve on the Eleventh Circuit. She has done extensive work inside the courtroom as well as at the appellate level, and she is well qualified to now go to the Eleventh Circuit. I am pleased to speak on behalf of this highly qualified nominee, and I urge my colleagues to vote in support of Jill Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit judicial court."

Sen. Isakson Floor Statement for Jill Pryor 11th Circuit nomination
(Republican - Georgia) 09/08/14
"I urge all of my colleagues to vote favorably for Ms. Pryor, a lawyer from the city of Atlanta and the State of Georgia, a great nominee and a great appointee. As I make this recommendation, I want the Chamber to know loudly and clearly that I praise the President and his staff--particularly Kathy Ruemmler--for the job they did in coordinating with Senator Chambliss and myself in seeking advice and consent to come up with a series of appointees to the district and circuit courts of Georgia. Jill Pryor is an outstanding lawyer and an outstanding attorney. ... She is an outstanding individual of impeccable credentials, impeccable integrity, and will be a great credit to the Federal bench of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. I commend her to each of my colleagues here today with my highest recommendation, and I again thank the President of the United States and his staff for their cooperation in nominating a superior judge to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals."

Sen. Grassley on procedural delays
(Republican - Iowa) 08/22/14
Republicans have shown no indication they will relent on their demand for procedural votes on most nominees that are guaranteed to be OK‘d by Democrats only hours later, a practice that slows the Senate to a crawl. “We’ve been successful in doing that so far,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the GOP’s top gun on judicial issues. “I’ve suggested it and the caucus has backed it up.”

Sens. Johanns, Fischer Recommend Judicial Candidate to President
(Republican - Nebraska) 08/15/14
Johanns said, “Bob’s experience, education and profound respect for our Constitution and the rule of law make him eminently qualified for this position. His broad bipartisan support, both within and outside the legal community, demonstrates Bob’s high regard and professionalism. I am confident he would be a fair and impartial judge – in keeping with this Court’s tradition.” Fischer said, “Throughout Bob Rossiter’s long legal career, he has demonstrated the highest integrity, legal skill, professionalism, and dedication to the rule of law. I have no doubt he has the proper temperament to serve on the federal bench in Nebraska, where he is widely respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. After many years of service to his community and his profession, I am thankful to Bob for his willingness to enter public service.”

Sen. Toomey cites Restrepo & two other Latino judges as outreach to Latino community
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 08/11/14
AL DÍA News Media interview: "What is your outreach to the Latino community?" Sen. Toomey: "Senator Casey and I have worked very closely in the appointment of federal judges. We have ushered 10 people through the process, three of them Latinos. Puerto Rican judge Nitza Quiñones Alejandro and Felipe Restrepo, from Colombia, both serve on the federal bench for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. And Cathy Bissoon on the federal bench for the Western District of Pennsylvania."

Sen. Kirk Applauds White House Judicial Nomination of John Blakey to Northern District Bench
(Republican - Illinois) 08/05/14
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement today ... This is Senator Kirk's third nomination to the bench, including Manish Shah who the Senate confirmed earlier this year as a judge for the Northern District of Illinois: "John Blakey has extensive trial experience and every year oversees hundreds of cases, both civil and criminal, in the State's Attorney's Office. He supervises the Regional Organized Crime Task Force, acts as co-leader of the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force, and lectures nationwide on the complex legal issues that arise in RICO cases. I commend President Obama's decision to nominate John Blakey to the bench for the Northern District of Illinois and I will urge the full Senate to swiftly approve this nomination."

Sen. Ron Johnson Op-Ed: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Why I took President Barack Obama to court
(Republican - Wisconsin) 08/02/14
"On July 15, in Halbig vs. Burwell, the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., struck down this interpretation, and while the Fourth Circuit Appeals Court in Richmond, Va., went the other way, even its ruling admitted the administration was on shaky legal footing."

(Republican - Kentucky) 07/29/14
"I’m pleased to come before the committee and voice my strong support for David J. Hale and Greg N. Stivers. I have no doubt that, after this committee has reviewed all of the documentation for these two outstanding Kentucky lawyers, you will come to the same conclusion.... Let me once again reiterate my unqualified support for both David Hale and Greg Stivers as nominees for the federal judiciary. Both men, proud graduates of my own alma mater, the University of Kentucky College of Law, have the requisite experience, temperament, and judgment required for the federal bench."

Sen. Paul introduces district court nominee Greg Stivers at nominations hearing
(Republican - Kentucky) 07/29/14
Bowling Green Attorney Greg Stivers is in line to become a U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Kentucky. On Tuesday, he appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee where he was introduced to by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. "I've known Greg Stivers for over 20 years as a friend, neighbor, and father," stated Paul. "He's respected in the community, he has wisdom, a sense of justice, and a fidelity to the rule of law."

Sen. Grassley Floor Statement on D.C. Circuit and opposing confirmation of Pamela Harris to Fourth Circuit
(Republican - Iowa) 07/28/14
" So now after the other side has succeeded in stacking the DC Circuit, Democratic appointees outnumber Republican appointees by a 7-to-4 majority among active judges.... Professor Harris is being fast-tracked to the Fourth Circuit just in time for another en banc appeal, should one materialize.... Professor Harris is a rock-solid vote for saving ObamaCare's unlawful subsidy regime"

Sen. Hatch Floor Statement on State of the Senate
(Republican - Utah) 07/28/14
"Last November the majority leader claimed there had been 168 filibusters on executive and judicial nominations. The majority leader used this supposedly unprecedented level of confirmation obstruction to take the drastic step of abolishing extended debate altogether using the so-called nuclear option. But the majority leader was counting cloture motions, not filibusters. A cloture motion is simply a request to end debate. A filibuster occurs when the debate cannot be ended because the cloture vote fails. In fact, most of those were not filibusters; they were falsely called that. There have been only 14 filibusters of President Obama's nominees, and that practice was on a decline. The Senate, in fact, confirmed 98 percent of President Obama's nominees. There was never a problem there. The majority leader's current opposition to filibustering Democratic nominees is simply impossible to reconcile with the 26 times he voted to filibuster Republican nominees."

(Republican - Georgia) 07/25/14
"On Monday, the Senate unanimously confirmed Julie E. Carnes of Atlanta to be a judge for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Georgia, Florida and Alabama. I spoke about her qualifications on the floor of the Senate immediately before the vote. She is immensely capable, possesses outstanding integrity and ability, and is just the type of person we would want on the bench."

Commission taking applications for open 7th Circuit seat
(Republican - Wisconsin) 07/25/14
Eric Heisig: "The state’s Federal Nominating Commission is accepting applications for a position on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The seat has been vacant since former Judge Terry Evans took senior status in 2010. He died the following year. The commission, which is run by the State Bar, plans to make three or four recommendations to Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson. The senators then make a recommendation to President Barack Obama. If Obama approves of the nominee, it is sent to the full Senate for approval. The last person nominated to fill Evan’s seat was former University of Wisconsin Professor Victoria Nourse in July 2010. However, amid political infighting, her nomination was never approved by the Senate."

Sen. Grassley Statement at Hearing for Bough, Bonilla, Beetlestone, Kearney, Leeson, Pappert
(Republican - Iowa) 07/24/14
"I've voted for nominees whose political preferences are far different from mine. But I do believe we can learn a lot about someone’s potential judicial demeanor based on how they’ve treated those who disagree with them politically. Have they been fair and respectful in their political discourse? I understand political passion. And as the saying goes, “Politics ain’t beanbag.” But the power of our judiciary rests entirely on the people’s confidence in impartiality. We can debate how far is too far in politics. But we can all agree that what may be in bounds in the political arena may not be appropriate for the federal judiciary. If litigants doubt a judge’s ability to be impartial and treat those in front of him or her with respect, then confidence in our justice system will erode quickly."

Sens. Casey & Toomey Introduce PA’s Eastern District Nominees at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 07/24/14
"I was honored to introduce Wendy Beetlestone, Mark Kearney, Jay Leeson and Jerry Pappert with Sen. Casey during today's 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 that these four nominees will live up to these standards and hope that the Senate confirms them in a timely manner."

Senator Blunt On Court Ruling Against ObamaCare: Law Was Terribly Written, Poorly Implemented
(Republican - Missouri) 07/22/14
“The court is just upholding the plain text of the president's health care law, which was terribly written and poorly implemented. President Obama continues to ignore his constitutional duty to uphold the law, and this is yet another reminder that Congress must hold him accountable.”

Sen. Hatch Statement Regarding the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Obamacare Federal Subsidies
(Republican - Utah) 07/22/14
“Today’s decision rightly holds the Obama administration accountable to the law....The court considered the Administration’s justifications and came to an unmistakable conclusion: President Obama overreached. It is greatly disturbing that this Administration continues to put politics ahead of the rule of law time and time again. Today’s decision was right to reject such lawlessness, and I trust that the full D.C. Circuit and eventually the Supreme Court will likewise uphold the legitimate lawmaking authority of Congress.”

Sen. Inhofe Statement Halbig v. Burwell Decision
(Republican - Oklahoma) 07/22/14
“Today’s decision in the D.C. Circuit Court is only one of many rulings demonstrating the problems that plague Obamacare,” said Inhofe. ... Courts are beginning to agree that Obamacare is riddled with problems and that the current Administration is deliberately ignoring it’s own flawed law."

Sen. Cruz: Halbig decision is a 'repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that comes with it'
(Republican - Texas) 07/22/14
""The D.C. Circuit's decision today in Halbig v. Burwell is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it," said Sen. Cruz....This is a significant victory for the American people and the rule of law, but we must not rest. ... Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed to restore jobs, growth, and opportunity in our country."