September 23, 2021

Senate Judiciary Committee Advances Latest Slate of Nominations and Legislation

Today’s nominees include the first slate of President Biden’s U.S. Attorney Nominees

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced the following nominations: Toby J. Heytens, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit; Patricia Tolliver Giles, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael S. Nachmanoff, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia; Sarala Vidya Nagala, to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut; Omar Antonio Williams, to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut; Hampton Y. Dellinger, to be an Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy; Erek L. Barron, to be United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Nicholas W. Brown, to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington; Matthew M. Graves, to be United States Attorney for the District of Columbia; Clifford D. Johnson, to be United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana; Zachary A. Myers, to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Trini E. Ross, to be United States Attorney for the Western District of New York; and Vanessa Waldref, to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.  The Committee also advanced S. 1787, the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021, and S. 2502, the Kenneth P. Thompson Begin Again Act.

Ahead of the votes, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged his colleagues to support the nominees and both pieces of legislation. 

Key Durbin quotes:

“Before discussing our judicial nominations, I note that we have eight U.S. Attorney nominees listed for the first time on today’s agenda. With significant prosecutorial experience, these nominees are well-positioned to serve. During the Trump Administration, this Committee processed 85 U.S. Attorney nominations.  Of those 85, all were confirmed by voice vote, only three were ever held over in Committee for a week.  I understand that the minority has asked to hold over one nominee—Rachael Rollins, for the District of Massachusetts, which we will do and consider her next week.”

“Toby Heytens, nominated to the Fourth Circuit, is an exceptionally accomplished appellate advocate who has represented a variety of clients over his professional career.” 

“Patricia Giles, nominated to the Eastern District of Virginia, has a deep knowledge of the district she has been nominated to serve. As a current Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, she has tried 22 cases to verdict, serving as chief counsel in 17 of those… She has the strong support of Senators Warner and Kaine… [and a] unanimous rating of ‘Well Qualified’ from the ABA.”

“Judge Michael Nachmanoff has likewise been nominated to a seat on the Eastern District of Virginia. He currently serves on that same court as a magistrate judge since 2015…[the] ABA has ranked him as ‘Well Qualified.’”

“Sarala Nagala has been nominated to be a judge in the District of Connecticut. She is a highly accomplished federal prosecutor… She’ll be the first person of Asian descent to be an Article III judge in Connecticut.”

“Judge Omar Williams has likewise been nominated to serve on the District of Connecticut.  Prior to his appointment to be a state court judge in Connecticut, Judge Williams was an accomplished public defender for more than ten years… Judge Williams’s experience as a litigator and on the bench demonstrates that he will be ready from day one to serve as a District Court Judge.”

“Hampton Dellinger has been nominated to serve as the next Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy.  Mr. Dellinger has spent decades in both the public and private legal sectors, most of his career in North Carolina… Mr. Dellinger has the support of dozens of business and faith leaders; the North Carolina NAACP; the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; and dozens of others in law enforcement.”

Video of Durbin’s statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s statement is available here for TV Stations. 

Toby J. Heytens, nominated to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, was advanced out of Committee by a bipartisan vote of 14-8.

Patricia Tolliver Giles, nominated to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, was advanced out of Committee by a bipartisan vote of 17-5.

Michael S. Nachmanoff, nominated to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, was advanced out of Committee by a bipartisan vote of 13-9.

Sarala Vidya Nagala, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut, was advanced out of Committee by a bipartisan vote of 13-9.

Omar Antonio Williams, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut, was advanced out of Committee by a bipartisan vote of 13-9.

Hampton Y. Dellinger, nominated to be an Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, was advanced out of Committee by a vote of 13-8-1.

Erek L. Barron, nominated to be United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Nicholas W. Brown, nominated to be United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington; Matthew M. Graves, nominated to be United States Attorney for the District of Columbia; Clifford D. Johnson, nominated to be United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana; Zachary A. Myers, nominated to be United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Trini E. Ross, nominated to be United States Attorney for the Western District of New York; and Vanessa Waldref, nominated to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington; were all advanced out of Committee by voice vote en bloc.

S. 1787, the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021, introduced by Senators Mike Lee  (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and cosponsored by Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), advanced out of Committee by voice vote.

S. 2502, the Kenneth P. Thompson Begin Again Act, introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX) and cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), advanced out of Committee by voice vote.

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