April 28, 2021

Durbin Gives Opening Remarks in First Judiciary Committee Hearing for President Biden's Judicial Nominees

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered his opening statement during the nominations hearing for Ketanji Brown Jackson, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit; Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit; Julien Xavier Neals, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey; Zahid N. Quraishi, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey; and Regina M. Rodriguez, to be United States District Judge for the District of Colorado.  In it, Durbin argued that these five qualified nominees will bring much-needed professional and demographic diversity to the judicial branch.  All five nominees were rated “Well Qualified” by the American Bar Association, the highest rating possible for nominees.

Key quotes:

“Looking at this slate of nominees, I’m struck that they not only bring qualifications that are extraordinary… but also demographic and professional diversity.  We need it on the federal bench.”

“…surveying these five nominees, I believe that they are qualified by training; they have distinguished records; they are the right nominees to fill these vacancies; and they have earned and deserve these appointments.”

“All five of these nominees are people of color.  They also come from a range of professional backgrounds.  All five received Well Qualified ratings by the American Bar Association.”

“And while this breadth and depth of experience is important, so too is the confidence we can have that all of these nominees, once confirmed, understand their responsibility as judges.  It’s a welcome change to see nominees who have been selected for their credentials and abilities, rather than those who simply checked a box in their political experience.”

“Thankfully, with today’s five nominees, the Biden Administration has taken an important step towards orienting the courts back towards evenhandedness, fair mindedness, and competence.  And the Administration has done so with a group of nominees whose qualifications are beyond question.”

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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