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Senate Confirms Critical Law Enforcement Positions Following Unanimous Consent Request by Chair Durbin

With these confirmations, the Senate has filled 27 U.S. Attorney vacancies

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate confirmed the nominations of five U.S. Attorneys (USAs) following a unanimous consent (UC) request by U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The nominees included Greg Harris for the Central District of Illinois, Clare Connors for Hawaii, Zachary Cunha for Rhode Island, Nikolas Kerest for Vermont, and Philip Sellinger for New Jersey.  Ahead of the UC request, Durbin took to the Senate floor to stress their eminent qualifications and critical roles in prosecuting criminal cases—including hate crimes, human trafficking, gang violence, cybercrime, narcotics, fraud, and terrorism.

“All five nominees are eminently qualified to hold the office of U.S. Attorney, to prosecute crimes and bring civil actions on behalf of the government, and to help safeguard our communities across America,” Durbin said.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) originally objected to the unanimous consent request, but withdrew his objection following an exchange with Durbin on the Senate floor.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

USAs serve as the chief federal law enforcement officer within each of their jurisdictions.  For decades, the Senate has confirmed these roles by voice vote or unanimous consent after they have been considered in the Judiciary Committee.  The last time the Senate required a roll call vote on a U.S. Attorney nominee was 1975. During the Trump Administration, 85 of President Trump’s U.S. Attorney nominees moved through the Judiciary Committee—of those 85, the Senate confirmed all by unanimous consent.