October 06, 2021

Grassley Opening Remarks at Hearing on Nominations

Prepared Opening Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Hearing to Consider Nominations
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
 
We have five judicial nominees today: one for the Ninth Circuit, two for the district court in Michigan, and two for the Claims Court. We also have an executive nominee for the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division.
 
Judge Koh is a federal district court judge in California and is nominated for the Ninth Circuit. She’s well known for her opinions in high-profile cases involving tech companies, antitrust and data privacy. She has also had major opinions bearing on religious liberty and constitutional rights. I hope we’ll be able to discuss some of those more in depth today, and also hear more about Judge Koh’s judicial philosophy.
 
Some of this Administration’s nominees have been a bit cagey about how they view constitutional and statutory interpretation. Given her time on the bench, I think Judge Koh will be able to speak about her judicial philosophy more fully.
 
The Michigan nominees are both sitting judges, which is good. But their prior experience is also pretty similar: plaintiff lawyers with long histories of donating to Democrats.
 
While there’s nothing wrong with a plaintiff lawyer or donating to a Democrat, we should make sure that these nominees are willing to be even-handed on the federal bench.
 
As to the Claims nominees, Mr. Bonilla seems experienced before this specialized court, and Ms. Lerner is someone my staff has worked with well over the years from her time as Special Counsel in the Office of Special Counsel.
 

Mr. Kanter has been a forceful critic of big tech companies. He also has a long history of advocating for more aggressive enforcement of our antitrust laws. We had a good discussion about my concerns about consolidation in the agriculture industry, and I hope we’ll have a chance to continue those discussions today.