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The Honorable Orrin Hatch
May 15, 2003
Statement of Chairman Orrin G. Hatch
MICHAEL CHERTOFF TO THE
Let me say just a few words about Michael Chertoff, our Third Circuit nominee. I will keep my remarks brief because we all know Mr. Chertoff from the outstanding job he has done as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice.
Mr. Chertoff graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, then clerked for Second Circuit Judge Murray Gurfein and for Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. After a brief stint in private practice, he embarked on a nine-year tenure as a federal prosecutor, where he gained extensive experience prosecuting high-profile and complex cases involving organized crime, white collar crime, and political corruption. In 1994, he returned to the private sector, where he remained until joining the Justice Department in his present capacity in 2001. During his time in private practice, he won high marks from Democrats and Republicans alike for his pro bono service as counsel to the New Jersey state legislature during its investigation of racial profiling by the state police.
I, for one, know that the Justice Department will have enormous shoes to fill upon Mr. Chertoff's confirmation to the Third Circuit. He will be an excellent appellate judge, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting his nomination.
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THE NEED FOR ADDITIONAL FEDERAL JUDGES IN
Although the Judicial Conference recommended a temporary judgeship for the District of Utah, it is noteworthy that this recommendation was at odds with the recommendation of the circuit council, which advocated a permanent judgeship for Utah. Moreover, the Judicial Conference made its recommendation without the benefit of the most recent quarterly statistics from the Administrative Office of the Court, which shows that filings in Utah have continued to rise. For these reasons, I am asking my colleagues to join me in supporting the creation of a permanent judgeship for the District of Utah.
In addition, my amendment converts a temporary judgeship in the District of Nebraska to a permanent judgeship. According to a letter the Committee received from Senator Hagel, the District of Nebraska has 543 weighted filings per judgeship. If Nebraska loses its temporary judgeship, which is slated to expire on November 20 of this year, its weighted filings per judge will rise dramatically to 724, placing it among the five most overworked districts in the country.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the creation of these two vital judgeships.
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L. SCOTT COOGLER TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
I am particularly impressed that he has shared his expertise by teaching law at his alma mater despite the demands of his judicial service. I applaud President Bush for his nomination of Judge Coogler, and urge my colleagues to join Senator Sessions and me in support of his nomination.