Prepared Floor Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
On the Nominations of
Sheri Polster Chappell, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida
Michael J. McShane, to be United States District Judge for the District of Oregon
Monday, May 20, 2013
Before we vote on the nominees today, I want to update my colleagues on where we stand with judicial confirmations. After tonight, the Senate will have confirmed 190 District and Circuit nominees; we have defeated two. That’s 190-2; which is a .990 batting average. That is an outstanding record. Who can complain about achieving 99 percent?
So far this year, the Senate has confirmed 17 nominees. Today, if Judge Chappell and Judge McShane are confirmed, we confirm the 18th and 19th nominees. At this stage in President Bush’s second term only 4 were confirmed. That’s a record of 19 to 4.
This President is being treated exceptionally fairly.
The President has recently submitted a few new nominations. I know I have been reminding him that we can’t do anything about vacancies without him first sending up nominees.
But again, even with the recent nominations, 58 of 82 nominations still have no nominee. And for judicial emergencies, only 6 of 32 vacancies have a nominee.
So I just wanted to set the record straight before we vote on this nominees. I expect they will both be confirmed tonight and I congratulate them on their confirmations.
Judge Chappell received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984 and her J.D. from Nova Southeastern University Law School in 1987. Upon graduation, Judge Chappell became an Assistant State Attorney in the Fort Myers Misdemeanor Division. In 1988, she began prosecuting felony cases including crimes against children, drugs, property crimes, and crimes against persons. In 1991, she was promoted to Office Head of the Hendry and Glades County Office where she prosecuted cases and supervised the attorneys, secretaries, and investigators. From 1993 until 1998, she acted as the Supervisor of the Fort Myers Circuit Court Trial Division where she served as chair of the hiring committee and created a training course for new assistant state attorneys. From 1998 to 2000, Judge Chappell served as the Office Head of the Charlotte County Office.
In 2000, Judge Chappell was appointed by then-Governor Jeb Bush as a Lee county Court Judge for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. In 2002, she was elected to serve a six-year term for this position. There, she had jurisdiction over misdemeanor cases and civil disputes involving $15,000 or less. She resigned in 2003 due to her selection as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Middle District of Florida. There she handles criminal and civil dockets.
According to her questionnaire, Judge Chappell has presided over approximately 519 cases that have gone to verdict or judgment.
The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave her a Unanimous “Qualified” rating.
Judge McShane received his B.A. from Gonzaga University in 1983 and his J.D. from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in 1988. For the first nine years of his law career, Judge McShane worked as a Public Defender in Portland, Oregon representing indigent clients facing criminal prosecution, the majority accused of felonies. During this time, he held the positions of Senior Felony Attorney and Misdemeanor Supervisor. According to his questionnaire, as a practicing attorney, Judge McShane tried over 500 trials to verdict.
In 1997, Judge McShane was appointed as a Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Pro Tem by then-Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, Wallace Carson. He presided over misdemeanor trials, criminal arraignments, traffic matters, stalking protective orders, probation hearings, small claims, and forcible entry and detainer matters.
In 2001, Judge McShane was appointed to the Multnomah County Circuit Court by then-Governor John A. Kitzhaber. In 2002, he was elected to the position and re-elected in 2008. He served as a trial judge with general jurisdiction and presided over criminal and civil matters. In 2012, he was assigned to the family law bench. According to his questionnaire, Judge McShane has presided over thousands of cases, of which approximately 1600 cases went to verdict.
The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave him a Majority “Qualified” and Minority “Well Qualified” rating.