Prepared Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
For the Congressional Record
Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Judicial Nominations, Luis Restrepo
Monday, January 11, 2016
Today, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Luis Restrepo to be a circuit judge for the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. If he is confirmed, he will be the 319th judicial nominee confirmed during President Obama’s presidency. By comparison, at this time in 2008, the beginning of President Bush’s last year in office, the Senate had confirmed only 297 judicial nominees.
That’s 22 more nominees for President Obama.
I’ve heard a lot of complaining about the pace of judicial nominations this Congress, but I believe actions speak louder than words. And the Senate’s actions have had concrete results. For example, last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings for 35 nominees. That’s exactly what the Committee did in 2007, when we also held hearings for a total of 35 nominees.
Furthermore, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, there is no judicial vacancy “crisis.” 2015 had the lowest average vacancy rate during President Obama’s presidency, and was among the lowest in the last 25 years. Currently, both the district and circuit courts are over 91 percent filled.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to hold hearings this year on judicial nominees and we’ll continue to do our due diligence in evaluating those nominees.
I’m here to set the record straight on the progress the Senate’s made with regard to judicial nominations. But I don’t view it as a productive effort to continue with the finger pointing and the negative back and forth regarding the previous pace or outcome of judicial nominations.
I yield the floor.