August 04, 2022

Judiciary Committee Advances Two Circuit Court Nominees, Four District Court Nominees, and One U.S. Attorney

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced the nominations of Rachel Bloomekatz, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit; Doris L. Pryor, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit; Gina R. Méndez-Miró, to be United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico; Maria del R. Antongiorgi-Jordán, to be United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico; Ana C. Reyes, to be United States District Judge for the District of Columbia; and Camille L. Vélez-Rivé, to be United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico.

Bloomekatz received a vote of 10-10; Pryor received a vote of 13-9; Méndez-Miró received a vote of 11-9; Antongiorgi-Jordán received a vote of 14-8; Reyes received a vote of 11-9; and Vélez-Rivé received a vote of 14-8. Under the provisions of S. Res. 27, Leader Schumer may now file a discharge motion on the Bloomekatz nomination to be placed on the executive calendar.

The Committee also advanced Natalie K. Wight, to be United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, by voice vote.

Ahead of votes, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke to the qualifications of several of today’s nominees.

Key Durbin quotes:

“[Ms. Bloomekatz is an] accomplished appellate litigator… After graduating from Harvard College and the UCLA School of Law, [Ms. Bloomekatz] clerked for three judges, including Justice Breyer on the Supreme Court… [She has] strong support across the [political] spectrum. In fact, the Committee has received multiple letters of support signed by those who self-identify as ideological conservatives… Ms. Bloomekatz also has support from the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and from the Chiefs of Police of the Dayton, Columbus, and Youngstown… police departments.”

“Judge Pryor has spent nearly the entirety of her legal career in federal court… She served as Deputy Public Defender in Arkansas before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor, where she worked on a wide variety of criminal cases. She also served as the Office’s National Security Chief for four years. In 2018, the district judges of the Southern District of Indiana selected her to serve as a magistrate [judge]. She’s demonstrated a capacity for evenhanded decisionmaking… Receiving blue slips from two Republican Senators—in this case, Senators Young and Braun—is extraordinary in this Committee, and I hope there’ll be more evidence of that kind of cooperation.”

“[After] years in private practice, [Judge Méndez-Miró built a] legal career committed to public service. [She] worked in all three branches of the Puerto Rico government, [and] served on the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals.”

“After graduating Georgetown, [Ms. Antongiorgi-Jordán] joined the law firm McConnell Valdes. [During] two decades with the firm, she had a wide-ranging litigation practice, participated in 42 trials, [serving as] chief or co-chief counsel in 36 of those. [She was then] appointed to serve as Chief Deputy Clerk of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, [and] promoted to Clerk of the Court.”

“[When Ms. Reyes] first immigrated to this country at the age of five, she had to learn English… From there, she was off and running… She’s built a complex international [arbitration] and litigation practice at Williams & Connolly… She’s devoted more than… 3,000 hours to pro bono work… She’d be the first Hispanic woman, and first openly LGBTQ person, to serve on the D.C. district [court].”

“[Judge Vélez-Rivé] currently serves as [a] District of Puerto Rico Magistrate [Judge]… [She] also served [the] District of Puerto Rico as an Assistant U.S. Attorney… two years in the Criminal Appeals Division, [she] drafted over 80 appellate briefs [and] argued 10 times before the First Circuit Court of Appeals.”

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.

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