United States Senator
January 22, 2004
January 22, 2004
Statement of Chairman Orrin G. Hatch
Before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Hearing on the Nominations of
RAYMOND W. GRUENDER TO BE
U.S. CIRCUIT JUDGE FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT;
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ TO BE
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON;
GENE E.K. PRATTER TO BE
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA; AND
NEIL VINCENT WAKE TO BE
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
I am pleased to welcome everyone to the Committee's first confirmation hearing of the Second Session of the 108th Congress. This morning we will hear from four distinguished nominees for the federal judiciary.
Our nominee to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Raymond W. Gruender, has ideal qualifications for the federal bench. An honors graduate of Washington University School of Law, Mr. Gruender has nearly ten years of experience as a trial attorney in private practice, along with a solid record in public service. Since 2001 he has served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, where he supervises 60 attorneys in criminal and civil cases. Mr. Gruender and his office have been active in helping to reduce violent crime in the St. Louis area. He has also been a leader in strengthening our nation's readiness in the war on terror. We welcome him to today's hearing, and we look forward to hearing from him.
Judge Ricardo Martinez is our nominee for the Western District of Washington, where he currently serves as a magistrate judge. He was a career prosecutor with the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office before his appointment as a judge on the King County Superior Court in 1990. Since 1998 he has served as a federal magistrate judge - an experience which no doubt has prepared him well for the district court bench.
Our nominee for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Gene Pratter, has contributed much to the legal community over her 29 year legal career, especially in the areas of legal ethics and professional conduct. In addition to her responsibilities as a partner with Duane Morris LLP, she serves as a Judge Pro Tem on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and as a mediator in federal court. She will be a welcome addition to the federal bench.
Our nominee for the District of Arizona, Neil Wake, comes before us today as a highly regarded litigator. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Mr. Wake entered into private practice and became a partner in his firm in just four years. During the next 20 years, he honed his reputation as a highly respected attorney. He has a great deal of appellate experience that spans a wide range of issues, and he should be an outstanding addition to the federal bench.
I look forward to hearing from all of our nominees, and I thank them for appearing before the committee today.
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