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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

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Sen. Grassley on Upcoming Hearing on Srinivasan D.C. Circuit Nomination
(Republican - Iowa) 04/04/13
“I look forward to hearing from Mr. Srinivasan when he comes before the Judiciary Committee and plan to have several questions for him,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the ranking Republican on the committee, said in a statement to TPM. “This would include questions to gauge his judicial temperament, his approach to the Constitution, and his thoughts on the proper role of a judge in our system of checks and balances.”

Sen. Burr on North Carolina U.S. district court vacancies & appointments
(Republican - North Carolina) 03/27/13
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr spoke with WRAL News on Wednesday: Morgan: This happened just today. The NAACP sent out an open letter, had a news conference, saying that they are trying to reach out to you to get you to join with Sen. Hagan about appointing a U.S. District Court judge to Eastern North Carolina that is African-American. What's your response to what they have to say? Burr: My response is that the letter that responded to their letter to me is that out of all three districts in North Carolina – when President Obama came to office, I made my recommendation for judicial appointments. Every district had an African-American on my list. The Eastern District has been one that the president has started and then stopped, started and then stopped. I've made it very clear now who my choice is. It's not an individual that's been disqualified. It's just an individual they've chosen not to pursue with a nomination. We're probably in a stalemate. Morgan: Who is this that you've recommended? Burr: I don't release the names of individuals that I've made recommendations – Morgan: Is it an African-American person? Burr: This one is not but there was an African-American on the list that the administration chose not to choose as a nominee. So until we've exhausted this list, I don't think it's my role to go back and submit a new list. Clearly, if other members of Congress and the House or other people in North Carolina want to play a part of the nomination process of advise and consent, they need to run for the United States Senate.

Sen. Hatch: My view: Why I voted 'present' instead of 'no'
(Republican - Utah) 03/26/13
"The Senate cannot vote on confirmation, which requires a simple majority, until it ends debate by a cloture vote, which requires a super majority of 60. Failure to reach that threshold is a filibuster. ... judicial filibusters should not be part of the confirmation process.... Three times, I have voted "present" on a motion to end debate on a particularly controversial nominee. By doing so, I neither endorsed judicial filibusters nor helped advance nominees who I believe are unqualified for the federal bench."

Sen. Enzi: Wyoming Attorney General highly qualified for federal court
(Republican - Wyoming) 03/19/13
"I want to thank the Chairman and the Ranking Member, as well as their staff, for acting on Mr. Phillip’s nomination in a timely manner. ... I thank you again for holding this hearing and ask that you move swiftly to approve this nomination.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Judicial Nominations
(Republican - South Carolina) 03/14/13
"Graham says presidents should get their choices barring something that's clearly disqualifying. "I don't know how to construct a world where we get all of our judges, and they never get any of theirs," he said.”"

Sen. Moran on Senate's Pace and Failure to Confirm Judicial and Other Nominations
(Republican - Kansas) 03/14/13
"The president made the pitch that it would be useful to his administration if nominees were more quickly confirmed," said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) ... "I think the facts, particularly on judicial nominations, [show] our record is better than [in] other administrations, as far as one party approving the judicial nominations of a different party's president," Moran said. "As I understand it, it's only two judges that we've not confirmed," he added. "And with regard to administrative appointments, I think in every instance that I know of, they've either been very controversial nominees -- Sen. [Chuck] Hagel -- or there's been senators who wanted information before another secretary was confirmed." "So the president made the pitch," Moran said. "I don't think it had a lot of credibility with Republican senators."

Sen. Collins on vote against ending filibuster of Caitlin Halligan D.C. Circuit nomination
(Republican - Maine) 03/13/13
Maine Sen. Susan Collins had a different rationale for her vote. She unearthed a 2006 letter signed by Democratic senators who opposed a Bush administration appointment to the court by saying that there were too many judges on it already. "My vote solely reflects my determination that this seat does not need to be filled by anyone," said Collins, a Republican. If Halligan were to be nominated for a different vacancy, "I would likely vote to confirm her."

Sen. Heller on Jennifer Dorsey district court nomination
(Republican - Nevada) 03/12/13
Heller said Tuesday that he plans to sign the blue slip — the piece of cerulean celluloid that lets a judicial nomination proceed — for Jennifer Dorsey before Congress disbands for its springtime holiday break later this month. But while he may sign the slip, it doesn't mean he's going to support the nomination. "If I sign the blue slip and say, 'No, I don’t support the nomination,' the chairman of the committee is still going to say 'both senators support this nomination,'" Heller said. "I’ll allow the process to go forward." But on whether he'll actually back Dorsey as opposed to preventing her from becoming a judge as he did Cadish? "I haven’t made that decision yet," Heller said. Heller is still vetting Dorsey. "Just normal background checks," Heller said, saying his office had more background information on Gordon than Dorsey when the president nominated them. "This isn’t abnormal, we’re going through the due process."

Sen. Heller Statement on Confirmation of Andrew Gordon
(Republican - Nevada) 03/11/13
“I am pleased to join with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to confirm an outstanding Nevadan, Andrew Gordon, as a United States District Judge. In Nevada, it is critical for us to work together to find qualified candidates who will uphold the laws of the land in their courtroom. Andrew is an excellent nominee who will serve the state well. Congratulations to Andrew on the confirmation,” said Senator Dean Heller.

Sen. Grassley on Judicial Nominations, Vacancies, Filibusters and the "Gang of 14"
(Republican - Iowa) 03/11/13
"There is no credible basis for alleging ``unprecedented delays.'' ... It is a stretch to say that the Gang of 14 is any kind of Senate policy, informal or otherwise. It was an agreement among a few Members of that Congress. Most Senators who were part of that agreement no longer serve in the Senate. Senators who did sign the agreement, on both sides, subsequently voted against cloture on nominees--indicating that the agreement was never regarded as limiting the Senate on cloture votes. It is clear that agreement was limited to a small group, for a particular point in time. The allegation of a systematic and irresponsible use of procedural maneuvers to block or delay nominations is unfounded."

Sen. Heller Statement on Elissa Cadish Withdrawal as Judicial Nominee
(Republican - Nevada) 03/08/13
Heller said he respected Cadish, but couldn't support her bid. "I believe an individual citizen has the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and cannot in good conscience support a nominee whose commitment to the Constitution's Second Amendment is in doubt," Heller said. Heller released a statement Friday saying he agreed with the withdrawal. "This has been an unfortunate situation from the very beginning and I wish Judge Cadish well in her future endeavors. I look forward to working with Senator Reid so that we can avoid similar situations and move swiftly to confirm future nominees," he said.

Sen. Toomey: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Three Pennsylvania Judicial Nominees
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 03/07/13
"Since joining the Senate, I've worked closely with Sen. Casey on judicial nominations for Pennsylvania to help confirm qualified, experienced individuals with unquestioned honesty, ability and integrity," said Sen. Toomey. "I'm grateful the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Judges Quiñones, Restrepo and Schmehl. I am confident that these three nominees will serve our state well, and I hope that the Senate confirms them in a timely manner."

Sen. Ayotte on Filibuster of Cailtin Halligan Nomination
(Republican - New Hampshire) 03/06/13
Republicans sought to tamp down the suggestion that a Halligan filibuster demonstrated an issue with the rules. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., noted that “very few” Circuit nominees had faced opposition to the extent faced by Halligan

Sen. McConnell Floor Statement on Filibuster of Caitlin Halligan Nomination
(Republican - Kentucky) 03/06/13
"We have begun this Congress by making progress on filling judicial vacancies. I am happy to resume working with the majority on doing so, but because of her record of activism, giving Ms. Halligan a lifetime appointment to the DC Circuit is a bridge too far."

Sen. Vitter Vote Explanation on Caitlin Halligan Cloture Vote
(Republican - Louisiana) 03/06/13
"I could not participate in the vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Calendar No. 13, Caitlin Joan Halligan , of New York, to be U.S. circuit judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. Had I voted, I would have voted nay. Ms. Halligan has consistently espoused extremist positions on well-settled areas of the law including second amendment rights, abortion, and terrorist detention. I believe that Ms. Halligan's demonstrated propensity for judicial activism disqualifies her for the Federal bench where a judge must impartially apply the law."

Sen. McCain on Filibuster of Caitlin Halligan Nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 03/06/13
"In keeping with the 2005 agreement, I have decided to oppose the President's nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Ms. Halligan's demonstrated record of judicial activism on issues ranging from holding firearm manufacturers liable for the crimes of third parties, to arguments regarding National Labor Relations Board authorities, to her record on the detention of enemy combatants, indicates to me that her activist record would only continue if granted the privilege of sitting on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. It is for these reasons and others that I believe Ms. Halligan meets the ``extraordinary circumstances'' requirement expressed in the agreement. An important constitutional responsibility of the executive branch and the U.S. Senate is to ensure that the Federal bench is able to handle its caseload expeditiously. In my view, we should only oppose cloture in extraordinary circumstances."

Sen. Isakson on Filibuster of Caitlin Halligan Nomination
(Republican - Georgia) 03/06/13
When asked if their vote was in the spirit of the 2005 agreement or a filibuster reform deal reached this year, several Republicans said Ms. Halligan’s nomination met the “extraordinary circumstances” threshold. “I think it meets the extraordinary circumstances, because of her extraordinary egregious record,” Mr. McCain said. “This is an extraordinary circumstance.” Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia, similarly said he was looking to the Bush-era agreement in voting against Ms. Halligan’s nomination.

Sen. Cruz statement on Halligan cloture vote
(Republican - Texas) 03/06/13
“Ms. Halligan’s record justifies the unusual step of denying cloture to a judicial nominee. She is a skilled litigator with a distinguished career, but she has repeatedly advanced extreme legal theories inconsistent with judicial restraint. A federal judge, especially on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, must be willing to follow the law and not impose his or her personal policy positions. Whether on guns, marriage, or the legal standards applicable to alien terrorists, Ms. Halligan’s aggressive and consistent litigation agenda shows that she is not a suitable choice to serve on the critically important D.C. Circuit court.”

Sen. Alexander Floor Statement on Filibusters of Judicial Nominees
(Republican - Tennessee) 03/05/13
""The accurate facts - and the Schumer staff and my staff agree with this, and if anybody thinks it's wrong, I'd like to know - that only in five cases have Democrats denied a Republican president an appellate judge nominee by filibuster, and only in two cases have Republicans denied a Democratic president's nominee by filibuster in the case of appellate judges. And as I said when I began, the answer is never in the case of district judges"

(Republican - Alabama) 03/04/13
"I do think it is an extraordinary circumstance. I take that decision seriously. There have not been many that I found that to have occurred."

Sen. Chambliss on pending Georgia U.S. district court nominee
(Republican - Georgia) 02/27/13
Senator Chambliss also dismissed the criticism of Mr. Boggs. “These objections that are being raised are pretty baseless,” he said, challenging the groups to find a biased ruling by Mr. Boggs.

(Republican - Tennessee) 02/27/13
"no district court nomination has ever failed to be confirmed because they failed to obtain cloture. ... , a district judge in this body today--and we have proved it time and time again--will not be denied his seat because of a 60-vote cloture vote. There will be an up-or-down vote on a district judge. ... cooler heads prevailed and we adopted a consensus that only in extraordinary cases would Federal appellate court judges be denied their seat by a cloture vote ... As far as circuit court nominations go, the score is 10 to 2. The Democrats have filibustered to death 10 of President Bush's nominees, and Republicans, in return, have filibustered 2. I think that is an unfortunate precedent. I would like for the Senate to go back to where it was when even a nominee such as Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court of the United States was decided by a majority vote. ... We have done it twice on the Republican side with circuit court judges; Democrats have done it 10 times--both unfortunate precedents, I think."

Sen. Inhofe Floor Statement After 93-0 Confirmation of Robert Bacahrach
(Republican - Oklahoma) 02/25/13
"I am very pleased that we have just confirmed Judge Bacharach . He is going to make a great Federal judge. I ... thank the leadership for holding that vote open so I would not find myself in the embarrassing position of not voting to confirm my best friend from Oklahoma.... this is a guy of whom we will always be proud."

Sen. Toomey on New federal judge takes oath of office
(Republican - Pennsylvania) 02/25/13
"It's a big day for Williamsport," Toomey said. "This is a town that deserves to have a federal judge to dispense timely justice in a state and a region growing in importance economically." He described Williamsport as a hub for the energy revolution and in need of a judge such as Brann, who he believed would be fair and had the necessary legal experience.

Sen. Coburn Floor Statement On Robert Bacahrach Confirmation
(Republican - Oklahoma) 02/25/13
"Judge Bacharach brings together the two qualities that are so important and represent the upper end of all the candidates I have seen in my 9 years in the Senate"

Sen. Grassley Floor Statement on Senate Confirmation of Robert Bacharach
(Republican - Iowa) 02/25/13
"Bacharach's nomination was pending before the Senate last year. In accordance with Senate custom and practice, the nomination was placed on hold, along with other circuit judge nominations, pending the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election.... One has to go back 20 years to find a Presidential election year when the Senate approved a circuit court judge in the latter part of the year. Of course, the rationale has been that whoever wins that election should be the one to pick these lifetime nominees who will run our judiciary system."