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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GRASSLEY. Madam President, I will be voting for both of these nominees for judges, but I would like to make some comments because I hear rumblings of how Senate Republicans are obstructing judicial nominees. I would just like to remind my colleagues of how well we are proceeding.

Today the Senate will consider two more judicial nominations. These nominations are people, as I just said, I am going to approve. This is the third of this week, and with today's expected action we will have confirmed 4 circuit and 9 district nominees during this Congress, for a total of 13. At this point in 2005, during President Bush's second term, the Senate had confirmed not 13 like now, with us, not 9, not 4, but only 1 judicial nominee. So that would be a record of 13 for this administration and 1 for a counter time during the second Bush administration.

As I stated last week, the quick pace of this year comes on top of a very productive 112th conditioning, in which 111 judges were confirmed. That was more judges confirmed than any other Congress going all the way back 20 years. Overall, with today's actions, we will have confirmed 184 judicial nominees. Divide it this way, 34 circuit judges and now 150 district judges. The Senate has defeated only 2 nominees. That is a record of our passing 184 to 2 that have not been approved. That is a .989 batting average. So I do not know who is shedding tears around here, but they ought to look at the record.

Other nominees are still being considered by the Senate and a few remain in committee. I note we have a hearing scheduled next week for another circuit and district judge, so we are continuing to move forward. But even counting those pending nominations, the President has a confirmation rate that is comparable to that of President George W. Bush, President Clinton, and exceeds that of President George H.W. Bush.

Again, there is no credible basis to say this President is being treated differently from previous Presidents. What is different, though, in the case of this President is the manner in which he has allowed vacancies to accumulate before submitting nominations. It is about time that down at the White House they get down to work, decide who they are going to nominate, and get the nominations up here. His failure to make judicial nominations a priority in his first year when Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate resulted in an increase of vacancies. That was not the fault of Senate Republicans.

Throughout his administration it has been the case that a majority of vacancies have had no nominees. Presently, do you know that three of four vacancies have no nominees up here?

For the 36 vacancies categorized as ``judicial emergencies,'' there are only 8 nominees. So I just want to set the record straight before the vote for these nominees because I get tired of these crocodile tears being shed. Particularly, I am sick of hearing about us not moving on judges when three-fourths of them we don't even have the nominees here yet. So quit crying.

I yield the floor.


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