WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, questioned Richard E. N. Federico, nominated to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, about his experience serving as a federal public defender, as well as a Navy JAG Corps prosecutor and defense lawyer.
“You’ve served as both a prosecutor and as a defense counsel in your career… And in the Navy and Navy Reserve, I’m sure you’ve had opportunities to deal with both sides and both tables in the room. What can you tell us about your background that would assure people that you would be fair minded and not lean one way or the other when it comes to criminal cases?” Durbin asked.
Mr. Federico responded that throughout his legal career, and especially when serving in the Navy, he has sat on both sides of the aisle as a prosecutor and a defense attorney, and that makes him “understand the equities that the parties bring in the court room.”
Durbin then asked Judge Joshua P. Kolar, nominated to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, about his appellate experience.
Judge Kolar responded that he was, “fortunate enough early in my career as a federal prosecutor to focus on appellate work and I drafted or argued over 20 cases in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and that was an experience that laid the groundwork in a very real way for my career on the bench now and [during] my time as a federal prosecutor. It allowed me to see how a record develops and how that translates into appellate practice… And I think it’s prepared me well for the position of Circuit Judge.”
Video of Durbin’s questions to Mr. Federico and Judge Kolar in Committee is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s questions to Mr. Federico and Judge Kolar in Committee is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s questions to Mr. Federico and Judge Kolar in Committee is available here for TV Stations.
Durbin then questioned Deborah A. Robinson, nominated to be Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at the Executive Office of the President, about Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“It seems that AI would have some real relevance to the future of the area of interest that you’re seeking. Would you like to make a comment on that?” Durbin asked.
Ms. Robinson said that AI is both a promise and a concern, and continues to develop. She also further elaborated, “If I’m confirmed, I will make sure that I learn about all the research being done on AI, I would stay abreast of conversations [on AI], and I applaud this Committee for starting that conversation.”
Durbin questioned Judge Jeffrey M. Bryan, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota about his cases, trials, and background. Judge Bryan explained that since he was appointed as a Minnesota state trial court judge in 2013, he has presided over more than 8,000 cases and nearly 120 trials.
Durbin then questioned Judge Eumi K. Lee, nominated to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, about the temperament of a successful federal judge. Judge Lee responded that the temperament of a successful judge is to be fair and well-prepared.
Video of Durbin’s questions to Ms. Robinson, Judge Bryan, and Judge Lee in Committee is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s questions to Ms. Robinson, Judge Bryan, and Judge Lee in Committee is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s questions to Ms. Robinson, Judge Bryan, and Judge Lee in Committee is available here for TV Stations.
The hearing continues the Committee’s work filling judicial and executive vacancies with highly qualified, diverse candidates who help ensure the fair and impartial administration of the American justice system. Under the leadership of Chair Durbin, the Senate has confirmed 140 judges to lifetime appointments on the federal bench during the Biden administration.