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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

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Senator Statements


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Senator Kirk Picks Manish Shah for Appointment to be Northern District of Illinois Court Judge
(Republican - Illinois) 06/11/13
“I am proud to put forward the name of Manish Shah to be the next federal district court judge for Northern Illinois,” Senator Kirk said. “He’s the most experienced prosecutor we have, and because of his stellar record in working with former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, I think he is the best one for the bench. I look forward to working with Senator Durbin to make sure we have highly-skilled candidates like Shah to help strengthen our courts and clean up Illinois.”

Sen. Blunt on Obama Judicial Nominations
(Republican - Missouri) 06/07/13
"We all know that the D.C. court has too many judges on it. It's not a busy court," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). "I would think that the president is ill-advised to just immediately try to look for one other opportunity to establish confrontation, unless he's just trying to change the subject."

Sen. McCain on Obama D.C. Circuit Nominations
(Republican - Arizona) 06/07/13
Other Republicans were far less interested in waging war over the D.C. Circuit nominees. "I've always thought that judges should get votes. Elections have consequences," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "He wants to obviously get his nominees to the second most important court in America."

Sen. Enzi on Obama D.C. Circuit Nominations
(Republican - Wyoming) 06/07/13
"I don't have any opinion," Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said as he walked away.

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Obama D.C. Circuit Nominations
(Republican - South Carolina) 06/07/13
"I've been pretty good on voting for judges if I think they're qualified and not ideologues," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "Some of my colleagues feel that the D.C. Circuit is sort of overdone. I haven't made my mind up yet."

Sen. Alexander on Obama D.C. Circuit Nominations
(Republican - Tennessee) 06/07/13
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) fumed at Obama for creating a sense of urgency behind the three nominees and, more broadly, for criticizing Republicans for obstruction. He said his party has confirmed 19 of Obama's judges so far this year, compared to the four judges that Democrats had confirmed for President George W. Bush by this point in his second term. "When you win an election, particularly when you win a second election, you should stop campaigning and start governing," Alexander said. "This business of threatening the Congress and inventing a crisis is unpresidential, unproductive and embarrassing for him to act that way."

Sen. Sessions on Obama D.C. Circuit Nominations
(Republican - Alabama) 06/07/13
"My concern is that every slot on this circuit does not need to be filled," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I'll continue to look at the caseload and see where we are."

Sen. Coburn on Obama Judicial Nominations and Filibuster Reform
(Republican - Oklahoma) 06/07/13
"You don't need any more in that circuit. It's the most underworked circuit in the country," said a visibly agitated Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). "I think we're playing politics." Coburn stormed off when asked about the prospect of Reid changing filibuster rules. "I'm not even going to go there," he said.

Sen. McConnell Questions ‘Appropriateness’ Of Confirming New Obama Judicial Nominees
(Republican - Kentucky) 06/04/13
McConnell didn’t commit to using a filibuster to block up-or-down votes on Obama’s three new picks to the second highest federal court, but questioned “the appropriateness of confirming these three judges.” He dodged a question about whether he believes the nominees should only be filibustered under “extraordinary circumstances” — which is theoretically the standard senators have agreed to for when it’s appropriate for the minority to block nominees. “I think the issue, if there is one, with regard to the D.C. Circuit, is whether this circuit court — which is apparently less busy than all but one circuit court in the nation — needs to have a full complement of judges,” he said.... “We’re going to deal with those nominees as we have others,” he said. “You know, we’ve confirmed an overwhelming number of judges for President Obama. … So the president’s been treated very fairly on judicial [nominees].”

Sen. Hatch on D.C. Circuit nominations
(Republican - Utah) 06/04/13
Another senior Republican on the panel, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, added that Obama’s nomination of three individuals at once “is a political thing more than anything else, just to shove it to Republicans and also to get off” more politically painful topics.

Sen. Lee Statement on Unneeded Nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
(Republican - Utah) 06/04/13
"The President’s refusal to respect Senate precedent regarding the D.C. Circuit and his opposition to legislation that would distribute judgeships to courts that actually need them makes clear that today’s nominations are nothing more than a political ploy to advance a partisan agenda.”

Sen. Sessions on D.C. Circuit vacancies
(Republican - Alabama) 06/04/13
“My take is every slot on this circuit does not need to be filled,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “At some point you don’t need to be approving judges that don’t have enough work to do.”

Grassley Reacts to News Reports that Say President Obama will Nominate Three for DC Circuit
(Republican - Iowa) 06/03/13
“It’s hard to imagine the rationale for nominating three judges at once for this court given the many vacant emergency seats across the country, unless your goal is to pack the court to advance a certain policy agenda."

Confirmation of Nassau County FL judge Brian Davis held up by Sen. Marco Rubio
(Republican - Florida) 06/02/13
Larry Hannan: "The nomination of Circuit Judge Brian Davis of Nassau County to a seat on the federal bench is being held up by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who had supported him and even introduced him at his confirmation hearing. Davis was appointed by President Barack Obama to a judgeship for the Middle District of Florida in February 2012 but has not gotten a confirmation vote in the Senate. Aides to Rubio confirmed last week that the Republican senator was not allowing a vote to go forward. “Several Republican senators have expressed concerns with his nomination,” said Rubio spokesman Alex Conant. “So we’re doing our due diligence and reviewing his nomination before proceeding.” Conant couldn’t say how long it would take."

Sen. Moran Floor Statement supporting Sri Srinivasan D.C. Circuit nomination
(Republican - Kansas) 05/23/13
"If confirmed today, Sri would become the first South Asian to serve on a Federal circuit court. I wish to indicate to my colleagues how proud Kansans are of Sri and his success, his accomplishments, and I am pleased to support his nomination."

(Democrat, Republican - New Hampshire) 05/23/13
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today released the following statement applauding Judge Landya McCafferty’s nomination to the New Hampshire District Court bench. If confirmed, Judge McCafferty, who currently serves as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Hampshire, would be the first woman to ever serve in this position. “Judge Landya McCafferty is an incredibly qualified and accomplished individual with extensive federal court experience. Her nomination is a testament to her impeccable credentials and we are confident that she will serve the federal bench well. We look forward to supporting her historic nomination and urge the Senate to conduct a swift confirmation.”

Sen. Lee Floor Statement on Sri Srinivasan nomination and D.C. Circuit caseload
(Republican - Utah) 05/23/13
"I will vote to confirm Mr. Srinivasan . I do not believe in partisan retribution and hope that, moving forward, the Senate--whether controlled by Democrats or Republicans at any moment in the future--will rise above such past differences and disputes."

Sen. Alexander Floor Statement on Judicial Nominations
(Republican - Tennessee) 05/23/13

Tennessee Sens. Alexander & Corker on Pamela Reeves district court nomination
(Republican - Tennessee) 05/17/13
U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republicans, released comments on Reeves’ nomination. “I congratulate Ms. Reeves on her nomination and look forward to meeting with her during the confirmation process,” Corker said. “I congratulate Pamela Reeves on her nomination by the president to serve as the U.S. District Judge for East Tennessee, and I look forward to visiting with her as the confirmation process moves forward,” Alexander said.

Sen. Cochran Statement on Debra Brown district court nomination
(Republican - Mississippi) 05/16/13
If confirmed, Brown would be the first African-American woman to serve as a federal district judge in the state, said a spokesman for Mississippi’s senior U.S. senator, Republican Thad Cochran. “I congratulate Debra Brown on her historic nomination and am hopeful the Senate will conduct a timely and thorough consideration of her qualifications to join the federal bench,” Cochran said in a news release.

Sens. Hatch, Lee on the nomination of Judge Carolyn B. McHugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit; Utah Senators Recommended the Nomination to President Obama
(Republican - Utah) 05/16/13
“Judge McHugh is smart, qualified, and really represents everything we look for in a judge,” Hatch said. “Carolyn has proven herself as not only an exceptional jurist on the Utah Court of Appeals, but also a great student of the law. I look forward to working with Senator Lee and our colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to move her nomination forward and get her seated on the 10th Circuit bench as soon as possible.” "I have long been impressed with Carolyn's sharp legal mind and dedication to the rule of law," Lee said. "Throughout a distinguished career both in private practice and on the Utah Court of Appeals, she has demonstrated a commitment to objectivity and faithful application of the law. Her rich experience, outstanding intellect, and steadfast character will be a great asset to the federal bench, and I look forward to working with Senator Hatch to help ensure her speedy confirmation."

Sens. Hatch & Lee Support Utah Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Carolyn B. McHugh to 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
(Republican - Utah) 05/16/13
Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee suggested McHugh, who joined the Utah appellate court in 2005, and both Utah Republicans support the nomination. Judge McHugh is smart, qualified, and really represents everything we look for in a judge," Hatch said in a statement. "Carolyn has proven herself as not only an exceptional jurist on the Utah Court of Appeals, but also a great student of the law."

Sen. Heller Statement that he will oppose Jennifer Dorsey judicial nomination on the Senate Floor
(Republican - Nevada) 05/16/13
In the statement, Heller said he raised concerns about the contributions with Dorsey before her confirmation hearing, but allowed it to move forward in the hopes it “would clarify these issues so I could support her with no reservations. “Unfortunately, I remain uncomfortable with the relationship between the timing and amount of financial contributions made and this nomination, which is why I intend to oppose the nomination on the Senate floor,” Heller stated

Sen. Wicker Statement on Judicial Nomination of Debra Brown
(Republican - Mississippi) 05/16/13
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Debra Brown to the District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi: “Debra Brown has a distinguished background in the practice of law. She is well-regarded among a number of people across the legal and political spectrum, and I am impressed by what they say about her qualifications and character. I will ask the Senate Judiciary Committee to schedule her hearing in the very near future.”