October 12, 2022

Durbin Questions Lindsey C. Jenkins, Nominated to the Northern District of Illinois, in Judiciary Committee Hearing

Durbin also questioned latest Circuit and District Court nominees

WASHINGTON – During today’s Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, questioned Lindsay C. Jenkins, nominated to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. During the hearing, Durbin highlighted her extensive qualifications and background as a federal prosecutor. Ms. Jenkins spent 15 years as a federal prosecutor in the Northern District of Illinois, and in that time, gained significant trial experience.

“Tell us your thoughts on being a judge,” Durbin said. 

Ms. Jenkins stated she will put aside any bias, follow the law, and remain neutral if confirmed. In addition to her leadership responsibilities at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she also worked in private practice. She stated her time in private practice, “has given her a fresh opportunity as a defense attorney.” During her time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she rose to become Chief of the Criminal Division in 2019. In that role, she supervised nearly 150 attorneys and oversaw eight Sections within the Division.

Video of Durbin’s questions to Ms. Jenkins in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s questions to Ms. Jenkins in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s questions to Ms. Jenkins in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

Durbin also questioned Anthony Devos Johnstone, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, about his broad bipartisan support throughout Montana. 

“Professor Johnstone, the Committee has received letters in support of your nomination from an array of voices. From the multiple tribes of Montana, including the Chippewa Cree Tribe,” said Durbin. “The Committee has also received a letter from six retired justices of the Montana Supreme Court, including one who was initially appointed to that court by a Republican Governor… So tell me in a state which has its own rough and tough politics, how do you have bipartisan support?”

Mr. Johnstone responded by saying he is honored by all the support and that in any job he “leaves his political views aside.” Mr. Johnstone stated that if confirmed, he will rule by the law, not by a political party.

Durbin also noted Mr. Johnstone’s litigation experience, including as Montana’s State Solicitor. He has handled 29 cases on appeal—including 19 as sole or chief counsel or counsel of record—and has argued a total of seven cases on appeal, including three before the Ninth Circuit.

Video of Durbin’s questions to Mr. Johnstone in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s questions to Mr. Johnstone in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s questions to Mr. Johnstone in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

Today’s nominations hearing also included  Daniel J. Calabretta, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California; Matthew L. Garcia, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico; Jeffery Paul Hopkins, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio; and Adrienne C. Nelson, to be United States District Judge for the District of Oregon. All nominees reiterated to Durbin that they will be just and fair if confirmed.

Last year, Durbin along with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced that they would begin accepting applications from those interested in serving as a Federal District Court Judge in the Northern District of Illinois.  The Senators were assisted by a screening committee whose task was to review and vet District Court candidates and advise the Senators regarding the candidates’ qualifications and fitness for the position.  In December, the Senators sent a letter to the White House recommending seven candidates for President Biden’s consideration for current and future vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including Lindsay Jenkins.

The nominee’s biography from the White House is below:

Lindsay C. Jenkins is a partner at Cooley LLP in Chicago, Illinois, where she has worked since 2021. She previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois from 2006 to 2021. Ms. Jenkins was previously an associate at Jones Day from 2004 to 2006. She served as a law clerk for Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio from 2002 to 2004. Ms. Jenkins received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, in 2002 and her B.A. from Miami University of Ohio in 1998.

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