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Durbin Questions Latest Nominees in Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, questioned Jerry Edwards, Jr., nominated to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana, about his legal experience at today’s Judiciary Committee nominations hearing.

“Mr. Edwards, you have been a litigator since 2006, working in both private practice and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Shreveport.  Before that, you clerked for two judges on the First Judicial District Court of Louisiana.  So you’ve been acquainted with a number of federal judges.  Tell me about the good ones, and tell me about the bad ones,” Durbin asked.

Mr. Edwards responded that he has been fortunate to work with many great judges, who taught him the importance of “being engaged in the profession… [and] to advance civility and professionalism and the rule of law in the community.”

Durbin then asked both Brandon S. Long, nominated to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and Matthew James Maddox, nominated to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, about what qualities make a good judge.

Mr. Long responded that qualities of a good judge include “faithfully following the law, being prepared—having a command of the law every time you walk into court, being a good listener, being open minded, and hearing the testimony, seeing the evidence, and hearing the arguments, being respectful of the litigants themselves… and being humbled.”

Mr. Maddox responded that preparation is an important aspect of what makes a good judge. He also said listening is equally as important.

Durbin then asked Philip S. Hadji, nominated to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, about his experience working on government contract matters.

“You have a robust amount of experience working on government contract matters, having served as a lawyer in the U.S. Navy for more than ten years.  You have worked on a range of issues, including bid protest litigation, litigation of contract claims, and contract performance issues.  How have these experiences prepared you to serve on the Court of Federal Claims?” asked Durbin.

Mr. Hadji responded that “the breadth of my experience, as you described, is with the Navy doing government contact law matters.  A big part of the docket of the Court of Federal Claims is government contract law matters.”

Video of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

The hearing continues the Committee’s work filling judicial 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 138 judges to lifetime appointments on the federal bench during the Biden administration.