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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BAYH. Mr. President, I wish to speak in favor of the nomination of Magistrate Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. I joined together with Senator Lugar to recommend Judge Magnus-Stinson because I know firsthand that she is a highly capable lawyer who understands the limited role of the Federal judiciary.

Before I speak to Judge Magnus-Stinson's qualifications, I would like to comment briefly on the state of the judicial confirmation process generally. In my view, this process has too often been consumed by ideological conflict and partisan acrimony. This is not, I believe, how the framers intended us to exercise our responsibility to advise and consent.

During the last Congress, I was proud to work with Senator Lugar to recommend Judge John Tinder as a bipartisan, consensus nominee for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Tinder was nominated by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 93 to 0. It was my hope that Judge Tinder's confirmation would serve as an example of the benefits of nominating qualified, nonideological jurists to the Federal bench.

In selecting Jane Magnus-Stinson, President Obama has demonstrated that he also appreciates the benefits of this approach. I was proud to once again join with Senator Lugar to recommend her to the President, and I hope that going forward other Senators will adopt what I call the ``Hoosier approach'' of working across party lines to select consensus nominees.

I would also like to personally thank Senator Lugar for his extraordinary leadership and for the consultative and cooperative approach he has taken to judicial nominations. During my time in Congress, it has been my great privilege to forge a close working relationship with Senator Lugar across many issues. This has been especially true on the issue of nominations--when a judicial nominee from Indiana comes before the Senate, our colleagues can be confident that the name is being put forward with bipartisan support, regardless of which political party is in the White House or controls a majority in the United States Senate.

On the merits, Jane Magnus-Stinson is an accomplished jurist who is well-
qualified for a lifetime appointment to the federal judiciary. She has extensive trial experience, having served as a Judge on the Marion Superior Court from 1995 to 2007. Judge Magnus-Stinson also has valuable experience presiding in federal court, having served as a federal Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Indiana since 2007.

During this time, she has been recognized as a leader among Indiana jurists, serving on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Judicial Conference and the Board of Managers of the Indiana Judges Association.

Judge Magnus-Stinson's devotion to the fair and efficient administration of justice has been recognized by her fellow Hoosiers. She has been honored as ``Judge of the Year'' by the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault and as an ``Outstanding Judge'' by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Judge Magnus-Stinson has also shown that she is deserving of the public trust. She has demonstrated the highest ethical standards and a firm commitment to applying our country's laws fairly and faithfully.

In recommending Judge Magnus-Stinson, I have the benefit of being able to speak from personal experience, as she served as my Counsel while I was Governor of Indiana.

If you ask Hoosiers about my eight years as Governor, you will find widespread agreement that we charted a moderate, practical, bipartisan course. As my counsel, Jane Magnus-Stinson helped me craft bipartisan solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing our state.

In addition to her insightful legal analysis, I could always count on Jane for her sound judgment and her common-sense Hoosier values. Like most Hoosiers, she is not an ideologue.

During her service in state government, Judge Magnus-Stinson also developed a deep appreciation for the separation of powers and the appropriate role of the different branches of government. If confirmed, she will also bring to the federal bench a special understanding of the important role of the States in our federal system and will be ever mindful of the proper role of the federal judiciary. She understands that the appropriate role for a judge is to interpret our laws, not to write them.

As someone who personally knows and trusts Judge Magnus-Stinson, I say to my colleagues that she is the embodiment of good judicial temperament, intellect, and even-handedness. If confirmed, she will be a superb addition to the federal bench. I am pleased to give her my highest recommendation.

I urge my colleagues to join me--and Senator Lugar--in supporting this extremely well-qualified and deserving nominee.


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