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The Honorable Pat Roberts
United States Senator
Statement by Senator Pat Roberts
Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling this hearing on judicial nominations. It is important that we deliver solid judges to our court system. With that said, I support President Bush's nomination of Eric F. Melgren as Federal District Judge for the District of Kansas.
I associate my remarks with those of Senator Brownback. Eric Melgren is qualified for this important responsibility. Since 2002, he has been serving as U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas. Between 2002 and 2003, the District of Kansas had a fourteen percent increase in the number of criminal cases filed in U.S. District and State Courts.
It is necessary that this committee approve and send Eric's nomination to the full Senate for a vote. Due to an increase in caseload, a temporary judgeship was created in the District of Kansas in 1990. Since the temporary judgeship was created, we have seen an increase in the caseload for the District of Kansas.
Currently, Kansas has five active Federal District Judges. With Eric's confirmation, we will have six active judges. However, one of these judgeships is temporary and set to expire on November 21st of this year. If the temporary judgeship expires before the Senate confirms Eric and another judge takes senior status this year, the District of Kansas will only have four active judges. Therefore, with the increase in caseload, it is vital that we confirm Eric before the expiration of this temporary judgeship.
The Senate has a duty to confirm Eric. He is a man of integrity and sound judgement.
Again, I urge Eric's confirmation at the committee's earliest convenience. We need Eric Melgren as soon as possible.