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Mr. KERRY. I thank my colleague for his courtesy. I am perfectly happy to wait and listen to his comments.
We have a sort of Alphonse and Gaston thing going back and forth.
Madam President, I thank Chairman Leahy for his work on the Judiciary Committee in helping bring this nomination to the floor, and, obviously, Senator Brown and I are here, having worked together to choose this nominee and to send his name to the White House. We are very grateful, both of us, to President Obama for acting favorably on this nonpartisan recommendation which we made, and we are grateful to the other members of the Judiciary Committee who approved the nomination and brought it to the floor expeditiously so we can fill a very important vacancy in Massachusetts.
I think both of us believe the President could not have nominated a more qualified individual than Judge Hillman. He is already a judge, as we know, but a broad segment of the judicial community in Massachusetts agrees with us completely. Senator Brown and I agreed on a team made up of some of the top lawyers in our State who would get together and screen these candidates before we even view them, and so this candidate comes with the endorsement of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Worcester Bar Association, the Hampden Bar Association, and the backing of this nonpartisan search committee that gave us several names to evaluate. We sat down and interviewed the judges, and I think both of us are extremely pleased with the results.
In Judge Hillman, we see what President Obama has recognized--a thoughtful, fair, honest jurist who has a long record of public service as counsel to several municipalities in Massachusetts and as a magistrate judge in Worcester.
There is not going to be any learning curve for Judge Hillman if he is confirmed by the Senate this afternoon. Serving on the District Court in Worcester would be an enormous capstone to his decades of tireless public service, and I know he will bring his signature brand of thoughtful deliberation to the Worcester District. I am very grateful for his many years of public service.
As the current Presiding Officer of the Senate knows, having been a former Governor who has made her own nominations, it is tough to get lawyers nowadays who are willing to give up the compensation of the private sector to come and work for very little in a tireless public way. So I wish to recognize Judge Hillman's family--his wife Kay, and his children Zachary, Molly, and Patrick--for their contributions toward his ability to be able to share his life in public service with all of us.
I ask my colleagues to support his nomination this afternoon, Judge Timothy Hillman, to the U.S. District Court of Worcester, MA.
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