Committee also considers nomination for Director of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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 Judge Leonard Stark, nominated to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit; Victoria Calvert, nominated to be a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia; Judge Jacqueline Corley, nominated to be a United States District Judge for the Northern District of California; Sarah Geraghty, nominated to be a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia; Dale Ho, nominated to be a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York; and Kathi Vidal, nominated to be the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).
During his opening remarks, Durbin noted that the nominees are highly qualified and bring important professional and demographic diversity to their positions.
“When I speak about professional diversity, I am not lauding diversity for its own sake. I am instead recognizing that federal prosecutors and corporate lawyers have historically been well represented on the federal bench. And we are working to create some balance. To be absolutely clear, federal prosecutors and corporate lawyers can and do make outstanding judges. We have evidence of that before us today as well. But, as leaders across the political and ideological spectrum have noted, it is vital that our federal Judiciary reflects the communities it serves.”
“I have little doubt that some of our nominees today will face questions about their record upholding constitutional rights, ensuring an accurate census, and working to make our criminal justice system better. I also anticipate that there will be questions about the nominees’ ability to differentiate between their previous responsibilities and roles as advocates and the responsibilities of a judge. I have every confidence that these nominees understand that distinction.”
“I find it hard to believe that Republican judicial nominees can set aside their role as advocates and Democratic nominees cannot. It would be regrettable if my colleagues on the other side of the aisle cast aside the standards they applied to their own nominees just a few short years ago.”
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.