August 05, 2021

Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Latest Slate of Judicial & Executive Nominations

Today’s nominees include Myrna Pérez, nominated to be Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit, who has dedicated her career to defending the right to vote for all Americans

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced the nominations of Myrna Pérez, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit; Jia M. Cobb, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia; Sarah A.L. Merriam, to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut; Florence Y. Pan, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia; Karen McGlashan Williams, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey; and Matthew G. Olsen, to be an Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division.  Ahead of the votes, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged his colleagues to support all six nominees. 

Key Durbin quotes:

“First, we’ll be considering the nomination to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals of Myrna Pérez.  She is an experienced litigator who has dedicated her career to defending the right to vote… She has demonstrated a commitment to protecting, as the late Representative John Lewis put it, our ‘precious, almost sacred’ right to vote.  It is fitting, then, that this Committee will advance Ms. Pérez’s nomination so close to the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act which is tomorrow.”

“Unfortunately, she [Ms. Pérez] has been the subject of personal attacks since she has been nominated… I understand that some of my colleagues do not like the fact that she has dedicated her legal career to an issue like voting rights.  But no reasonable person could argue that she does not understand the difference between being an advocate and a judge.”

“We’ll also be voting today on Jia Cobb’s nomination to the District Court for the District of Columbia.  [In Ms. Cobb’s] 15 years of practice, she has tried more than 30 cases to verdict in civil and criminal proceedings.  She, in fact, in just her first six years as a public defender, handled more than 200 cases in court almost every day.”

“We’ll likewise be considering Sarah Merriam’s nomination to the District of Connecticut.  Judge Merriam has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for over six years—presiding over hundreds of matters… her nomination has the support of not just defense attorneys but prosecutors as well.  The Committee has received a letter of support from 26 former prosecutors—including three former U.S. Attorneys who were appointed by Presidents of both parties.”

“Also on the agenda is Judge Florence Pan, nominated to the District Court for the District of Columbia.  She spent her entire legal career in public service, in the Justice and Treasury Departments, and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for ten years… she will bring diversity to the D.C. District bench as the first Asian American woman to serve on that court.”

“We’ll also be voting on Karen Williams’ nomination to the District of New Jersey.  Since 2009, she served as a federal Magistrate Judge [in the District of New Jersey], handling thousands of cases and presiding over trials… Again, she has been rated unanimously “Well Qualified” by the American Bar Association and has the strong support of her home state Senators.”

 

“Finally, we’ll be voting on Matt Olsen’s nomination to serve as the Assistant AG for the Justice Department’s National Security Division… He spent more than two decades in government service, developing extensive knowledge in national security and intelligence.  Having already served as Acting Assistant Attorney General for this division, Mr. Olsen understands firsthand the vital role that the Justice Department plays in combating threats foreign and domestic.”

Video of Durbin’s statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s statement is available here.

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

Myrna Pérez, nominated to be United States Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit, advanced out of Committee with a bipartisan vote of 12-10.

Jia M. Cobb, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, advanced out of Committee with a bipartisan vote of 13-9.

Sarah A.L. Merriam, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut, advanced out of Committee with a bipartisan vote of 13-9.

Florence Y. Pan, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, advanced out of Committee with a bipartisan vote of 18-4.

Karen McGlashan Williams, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, advanced out of Committee with a bipartisan vote of 16-6.

Matthew G. Olsen, nominated to be an Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, advanced out of Committee with a bipartisan vote of 13-9.

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