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Grassley Introduces Judge C.J. Williams of Iowa at a Nominations Hearing

Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Hearing on Nominations
March 21, 2018
Good morning.  Welcome to the fifth nominations hearing of this year.
Today, we’ll hear from two panels. On the first panel we’ll hear from Michael Scudder and Judge Amy St. Eve, both nominated to serve as circuit court judges on Illinois-based seats on the Seventh Circuit.  On the next panel, I’m very pleased that we’ll hear from United States Magistrate Judge C.J. Williams, nominated to serve as a District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids.
To make recommendations to the White House for the vacancy in Iowa, Senator Ernst and I invited all interested Iowa lawyers to apply for consideration. The applicants were reviewed by a devoted group of members of the Iowa legal community. Senator Ernst and I were glad to receive the group’s recommendations and share them with the White House.
I’m also pleased that the President and Counsel to the President, Don McGahn, worked closely with Senators Durbin and Duckworth to select two exceptional nominees to serve as circuit judges on the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit. This is another great example of the President and his team working closely with home-state senators to ensure the Senate fulfills its constitutional advice-and-consent function.
I’ll now turn to Senator Durbin who is serving as Ranking Member today.
Introduction of United States Magistrate Judge C.J. Williams
United States Magistrate Judge C.J. Williams is a native of my home-state of Iowa who grew up in the small town of Mount Pleasant. He went on to study business in college and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law. He then clerked for Judge Donald O’Brien on the Northern District of Iowa.
Judge Williams has devoted a significant portion of his career to public service. He spent nearly two decades serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Iowa. There, he prosecuted cases involving narcotics, immigration, firearms offenses, and violent crimes.
Earlier in his career, he served as a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. He also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. He tried over 60 cases as well as negotiated dozens of guilty pleas. He received a number of awards from the FBI and the DEA for his work as a federal prosecutor.
Judge Williams is well-versed in both criminal and civil law. He worked in private practice for five years at a law firm specializing in litigation.
For Judge Williams, the law is a never-ending learning experience, and he is more than happy to give back. In 2001, he returned to Iowa Law as an adjunct professor and teaches classes, such as evidence, to law school students. Given the breadth of his knowledge in the courtroom, we were not surprised when he was appointed to serve as a magistrate judge in the Northern District of Iowa.
Judge Williams is a very talented attorney and judge, who is widely respected and recommended across the political spectrum back home in Iowa. He is a lawyer’s lawyer. He is not political. He is not driven by ideology. Trial judges find the law and apply it to the specific facts before them so they can decide actual disputes between real parties. Judges leave the legislating to us.
Judge Williams’s legal expertise, including extensive courtroom and academic experience, will help him serve as an excellent federal district court judge.