Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Hearing on Judicial Nominations
September 7, 2016
Today, the Committee is holding a hearing for five individuals nominated to be federal district court judges for districts in Texas. Welcome and congratulations to all the nominees and to their families.
As everyone knows, we are well into a Presidential election year. And as most know, during a Presidential election year, the long-standing Leahy-Thurmond rule applies. Generally speaking, the Leahy-Thurmond rule limits consideration of judicial nominees after the Senate returns from August recess. Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule and earlier in the year I indicated a willingness to make an exception and hold a nominations hearing in September. Doing so would not be entirely without precedent. For example, in 2008, a Presidential election year, then-Chairman Leahy held hearings in September as an accommodation to other Members on the Committee who had nominees they wanted considered. Of course, when he did so, he recognized it was an exception to the rule when he called the September hearing an “exceptional hearing late in a presidential election year” because the typical practice calls for “senate consideration of judicial nominations to stop in the last several months before a presidential election in order to await the outcome of the election.”
I know that Senators Cornyn and Cruz have worked with the White House to put forward these five nominees. So, I am pleased to be able to accommodate them and to hold this “exceptional hearing” today.
Including today’s nominees, the Committee has held nominations hearings for 54 judicial nominees. At this point in the 110th Congress, the Committee held hearings for only 47 of President Bush’s judicial nominees. I am proud of the number of qualified judicial nominees the Committee has considered this Congress and look forward to hearing from today’s nominees.