July 27, 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 Dana M. Douglas, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit; Bradley N. Garcia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit; Frances Kay Behm, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan; Jerry W. Blackwell, to be United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota; Anne M. Nardacci, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York; and Richard E. DiZinno, to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

During his opening remarks, Durbin introduced nominees Judge Dana Douglas and Brad Garcia, noting that the nominees have earned their recognition through their wide-ranging legal experience.

Key quotes:

“Judge Douglas comes from a large law enforcement family… Seeing their work from a young age first sparked her interest in pursuing law and a commitment to public service.”

“Judge Douglas serves as Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. First appointed to this role in 2019, and over the past three years, all 111 Reports and Recommendations she has authored have been adopted in whole or in part by the District Court. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Douglas spent 19 years in private practice at a Louisiana-based firm, where she became partner in seven years.”

“During this period, she also served as Commissioner on the New Orleans Civil Service Commission, a quasi-judicial body that regulates the City of New Orleans civil service. For nine years, including two as the Commission’s Vice President, she helped develop regulations and heard appeals.”

“Both Senators Cassidy and Kennedy have returned blue slips on Judge Douglas.”

“[Brad Garcia] clerked on the D.C. Circuit for Judge Thomas Griffith—a George W. Bush appointee who has written in strong support of this nomination. Mr. Garcia clerked for Justice Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court [and] then joined the law firm O’Melveny and Myers.”

“On the appellate front, he dedicated hundreds of hours to pro bono work and representing some of the nation’s largest companies in appeals on issues ranging from insurance coverage to patent infringement.”

“In total, during his time at O’Melveny, Mr. Garcia represented clients in more than 50 cases before state and federal appellate courts. He argued 13 appeals, including one in the Supreme Court and 10 in the federal circuit courts, and 10 merits-stage briefs and another eight certiorari-stage briefs in the Supreme Court.”

“He serves as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department… If confirmed, he’ll be the first Latino judge on the D.C. Circuit.”

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.