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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LAUTENBERG. Mr. President, it is my great honor to once again express my strong support for the Senate confirmation of Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz to the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

It has been a long road, but it's great to finally reach this day. I began the process of recommending Judge Shwartz to President Obama almost 2 years ago, and since her first nomination by the President 18 months ago I have had the privilege of shepherding her candidacy through the Senate. During that time, I have worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure she has bipartisan support. And earlier this year, I personally communicated with a number of my Republicans colleagues to assure them of her qualifications for the position and sterling reputation in the legal community.

It hasn't been an easy or quick process by any means, but because her candidacy is so strong, and because so many people believe in her, we have reached this proud moment where we can confirm her, and without a filibuster.

Her confirmation is well-deserved, because putting Judge Patty Shwartz on the Federal bench will be a great service to our nation and our justice system. She brings 25 years of public service to the bench--years she spent as a teacher, an attorney, and a judge.

Judge Shwartz graduated from Rutgers University with the highest honors and received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was an editor of the Law Review and was named her class's Outstanding Woman Law Graduate.

Since 2003, Judge Shwartz has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey, where she has handled more than 4,000 civil and criminal cases. And within the New Jersey legal community, she has earned a solid reputation for dispensing justice fairly and wisely.

She will make an excellent addition to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The opportunity to nominate Federal judges is a sacred duty. I have felt lucky to recommend many eminently qualified, impressive, and accomplished individuals.

Yet rarely have I seen such an outpouring of support for a single judicial candidate as I have with Judge Shwartz.

John Lacey, past President of the Association of the New Jersey Federal Bar, said Judge Shwartz is, ``thoughtful, intelligent, and has an extraordinarily high level of common sense.''

Thomas Curtin, the chairman of the lawyers' advisory committee for the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, said, ``Every lawyer in the world will tell you that she's extraordinarily qualified, a decent person, and an excellent judge.''

And seldom has someone had such a distinguished career working for--and earning the respect of--people on both sides of the aisle.

From 1989 to 2003, Judge Shwartz served in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey. In this role, she supervised hundreds of criminal cases, including cases concerning civil rights, violent crimes, drug trafficking, and fraud.

And in the U.S. Attorney's Office, she served under three Republican U.S. Attorneys: current Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito; former Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, Michael Chertoff; and New Jersey's current Governor, Chris Christie.

Governor Christie has been especially outspoken in his praise of Judge Shwartz. He has said, ``Judge Patty Shwartz has committed her entire professional life to public service, and New Jersey is the better for it.''

That is his statement. Now, if Governor Christie and I agree on something so adamantly, you know it's right.

Judge Shwartz's roots in New Jersey run deep. Like me, she is a native of Paterson, NJ, where she learned the value of hard work from her parents, who owned and operated a store for more than 50 years.

And as anyone who has met or worked with Judge Shwartz can attest, she inherited every ounce of her parents' strong work ethic--and then some.

After years of hard work, today is a great and triumphant day. I look forward now to seeing Judge Patty Shwartz take her place on the Federal bench. I can say with certainty that our justice system--and the country--will be better for it.


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