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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts. Madam President, I appreciate the senior Senator from Massachusetts setting up that process. We have worked hand in hand to try to develop a nonpartisan, unbiased process. Quite honestly, I was deeply impressed with the way we were able to handle it and get some truly qualified candidates. It was good to work with my colleague, and I look forward to doing it again. I rise also to endorse the nomination of Judge Timothy Hillman to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

As many of you know, when I was a young man, I had a run-in with the law. It was a judge named Samuel Zoll who set me straight and served as a role model for me. No doubt Judge Zoll served as a role model for many young men and women in Massachusetts. My experience shows the ability of judges to do good in their communities.

Today we are considering the nomination of a judge who will make the Worcester, MA, area a better place. I know that for a fact, as Senator Kerry pointed out. Judge Hillman is a man of integrity who will make us proud as the next Federal judge in Massachusetts. He will have a chance to shape young people's lives, much like Judge Zoll did for me.

Before I say a few words about Judge Hillman's background, once again, I thank Senator Kerry. We have in place a process I would recommend to other Senators so they can get good jurists in their own States. We worked very closely on that nomination.

I wish to also thank the judicial nominating committee we comprised. We have, as was said, some of the most respected and experienced attorneys in Massachusetts trying to bring something very special to our State, and that is a balanced judiciary. The attorneys on the panel came from all walks of life and different areas of our State, and the judicial nominating committee reviewed many applications and interviewed nearly every applicant, took their assignment very seriously, and we are both deeply appreciative of their time and effort.

Ultimately, this bipartisan committee made several recommendations, and Senator Kerry and I then interviewed each and every one of them. It was clear during his interview that we were immediately impressed by his poise and intellect. Clearly, he understands the proper role of a judge and is deeply committed to achieving justice.

In his interview, he lived up to his reputation as a thoughtful and thorough jurist with deep ties to the community, which makes it even all the more fitting that he will remain in Worcester to do good for the people of Worcester. They respect him as one of their own and trust that he will serve them well.

Since Senator Kerry and I recommended Judge Hillman to President Obama, we have received an outpouring of support for Judge Hillman from the Worcester bar and its residents, and we are both thankful for that. His legal background also makes him uniquely qualified for this position. He is currently a magistrate judge in Worcester, MA. In that role he has been indispensable to the Federal judiciary in Massachusetts. If confirmed he will seamlessly integrate with the other members of the District of Massachusetts courts.

The bar in Worcester has a tremendous amount of confidence in him, as both Senator Kerry and I do as well. They know when they appear before the judge, they are going to get a fair shake and that he has a sharp legal mind.

In addition to his role as magistrate judge, he generously gives a significant amount of his time to bar activities. For example, in 2008, in partnership with the U.S. Probation Office, Judge Hillman established a Federal reentry court program called RESTART for high-risk ex-offenders who have been released from prison. Judge Hillman's goal in establishing RESTART was to reduce recidivism and to focus on employment skills for ex-offenders. Judge Hillman should be proud that only after a few years, RESTART is becoming a national model for reentry courts, and for that we are also thankful.

In 2009 he was appointed as the national cochair of a group of judges and support staff who are responsible for the design and implementation of the next generation of the Federal courts case management and electronic filing system.

Prior to his service as a magistrate, he served as a State trial court judge for 16 years. Before becoming a judge, Judge Hillman spent 14 years in private legal practice, giving that up, as Senator Kerry referenced, to do good public service. He served as town councilman to three towns also in Massachusetts. So it is rare to find a nominee with the diversity of experience of Judge Hillman.

It will actually also affect the people in the Presiding Officer's State who work in Massachusetts--and I would encourage and seek the Presiding Officer's vote as well. For that reason, he is a superb choice.

In closing, I enthusiastically support Judge Hillman's nomination as a Federal judge. I will be standing right up there encouraging each and every Member of both sides of the aisle to see if we can get him through almost unanimously.

I have had the opportunity to support a stellar candidate to the Federal bench before, and I am excited to do it again. I thank Senator Kerry once again for the process. We have appointed two great judges to the judicial bar back home, and it is good for Massachusetts.


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