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Mr. NELSON of Florida. Then I will speed up my remarks until I see Senator Levin come in.
Mr. President, I, too, wish to talk about the vacancies. There is no sense for all of this slow-walking. Fortunately in Florida we have a process that takes the politics out of the selection of judges. The two Senators appoint a judicial nominating commission of prominent people all over the State, and they do the interviews and they do the selections of at least three for each vacancy. Because they do this in a nonpartisan way--notice what I said. I didn't say ``bipartisan,'' I said ``nonpartisan way,'' which is the way the selection of the judiciary ought to be done. Because they do that in a nonpartisan way, all three of the nominees who come to the two Senators--any one of them can be a Federal judge because they are all so qualified.
Fortunately, with the agreement we have with the White House, the President can name whomever he wants. He agrees to accept the nominee and make his pick from among the three we send him if we approve all three after the two Senators have, in fact, gone through and interviewed them. So we have a process. Why should there be a delay on judges like that? There absolutely shouldn't.
For example, take one of our Federal judges. Judge Jordan was elevated by the President to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee. At the end of the day, he won on this Senate floor 94 to 5, but he was held up for 4 months. Why? There is too much gamesmanship and partisanship in the process, and particularly coming out of a State such as Florida where it is nonpartisan in the selection of judges.
We have two vacancies in the Southern District and two vacancies in the Middle District of Florida right now. One of the judges is up on the docket. Two others have just come through and had their hearing in committee. The fourth is being vetted by the White House. Let's go on and get approved these judges where there is no controversy.
I see my colleague from Michigan is here. I will turn the remainder of my time to him.
I yield the floor.
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