June 22, 2022

Durbin Delivers Opening Statement in Latest Nominations Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered an opening statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Rachel Bloomekatz, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit; Florence Y. Pan, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit; Elizabeth Wilson Hanes, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia; Ana C. Reyes, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia; and Carlos Felipe Uriarte, to be an Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs. 

During his opening remarks, Durbin introduced Judge Florence Pan and Ana Reyes, noting that the nominees are highly qualified and bring important professional and demographic diversity to their positions.

Key quotes:

“Prior to her appointment to the D.C. Superior Court in 2009, Judge Pan devoted her entire legal career to public service. She was selected for the prestigious Bristow Fellowship in the Office of the Solicitor General, was an attorney in the Appellate Section of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department, and was a Senior Advisor in the Treasury Department. Finally, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for a decade, rising to become Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division in 2007.”

“Last year, she was nominated to serve on the D.C. District Court and she received a strong bipartisan vote both in Committee and when she was confirmed by the Senate. Judge Pan’s sterling credentials, as well as her extensive litigation and judicial experience, will be an asset to the D.C. Circuit.”

“She [Ms. Reyes] immigrated to this country with her parents when she was five years old and before she knew any English. But one of her teachers at her Louisville elementary school made sure she would have all the support she needed to excel, meeting with her for an hour before school every morning to tutor her one-on-one.”

“Ms. Reyes began her legal career as a clerk for Judge Amalya Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit before joining Williams & Connolly as an associate in 2001, becoming a partner in 2009… She has devoted over 3,300 hours to pro bono service over the past 21 years.”

“This varied work has given Ms. Reyes extensive experience in every stage of trial and appellate litigation. Moreover, her substantial pro bono efforts speak to a spirit of public service that, coupled with her experience, will serve her well as a federal District Court Judge.”

“If confirmed, she’ll be the first Hispanic woman and first openly LGBTQ person to serve as a District Court Judge for the District of Columbia.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.