Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Business Meeting
October 26, 2017
Good morning. Today, we have a number of nominees on the agenda, all of whom are ready for a vote today. They are:
Allison Eid, 10th Circuit
Stephanos Bibas, 3rd Circuit
Liles Burke, Northern District of Alabama
Walter Counts, Western District of Texas
Michael Juneau, Western District of Louisiana
Marvin Quattlebaum, District of South Carolina
Karen Scholer, Northern District of Texas and
Tilman Self, Middle District of Georgia
We also have 3 US Attorney nominees on today’s agenda, all of whom we’ll be able to vote on.
I was very impressed with the hearings for both these Circuit Court nominees. Justice Allison Eid has served on the Colorado Supreme Court since 2006. Justice Eid was raised by a single mother, earned a scholarship to Stanford, earned her law degree from the University of Chicago, and clerked for a Supreme Court Justice. She has had an impressive legal career and an impressive life story. Justice Eid has bipartisan support from her colleagues in Colorado, and she is an excellent choice to fill this vacancy.
In the past two markups, we’ve reported out three excellent and well-qualified women to the Circuit Courts. I was disheartened that my colleagues on the other side voted against the two female nominees last week. When Republicans voted against female Circuit Court nominees in 2013, Democrats called it unjust. I won’t do that here to my friends, but I also don’t want to see a double standard for qualified female nominees from different Presidents.
We’ll also vote on Professor Bibas’ nomination today. He’s an accomplished professor whose academic writings are frequently cited by the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals. He also has experience as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York. He got his start as a law professor at the University of Iowa in my home state. He also has broad pro bono experience and has led his law school’s Supreme Court clinic in cases where the clients couldn’t afford experienced counsel.
I was impressed with his testimony at his hearing. When asked about a case in which he prosecuted an individual for stealing $7, he told us that he “made a mistake,” he “apologized,” and that he “learned from it and tried to improve the justice system going forward.” I appreciate that as a young prosecutor, he was following the orders of his superiors to prosecute the case, but also that he was humble and admitted that it should’ve gone differently.
He also spoke about the differences in the role of an academic who considers theoretical legal questions and a judge who handles actual cases that matter to real people. I was impressed by his eloquence and passion on the topic.
I look forward to advancing all the nominations to the floor today. I believe each nominee is extremely well qualified and will serve with distinction.
S. 807, the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of 2017, is on the agenda for the first time and will be held over a week. For several years, Senator Leahy and I have worked together on this important piece of legislation, which would extend whistleblower protection for employees who provide information to the Department of Justice related to criminal antitrust violations. I appreciate Senator Leahy’s work and support, and look forward to reporting this bill out of committee next week.
I’ll now turn to Senator Feinstein for her remarks.