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Senate Proceeding on Feb 7th, 2011 :: 2:40:35 to 2:50:20
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Patrick Leahy

2:40:31 to 2:40:53( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: confirm -- three of president obama's nominations to fill judicial vacancies. as was noted there in the district courts in arkansas, oregon, and texas. all three of the nominations will fill judicial emergency vacancies. and given the serious need in those courts and the

Patrick Leahy

2:40:35 to 2:50:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Patrick Leahy

Patrick Leahy

2:40:54 to 2:41:14( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: qualifications of these nominees, there is no reason why they couldn't have been confirmed when they were nominated. they were actually unanimously by the judiciary committee way last year, in the last congress. every republican, every democratic senator supported them, and they came out and were

Patrick Leahy

2:41:15 to 2:41:35( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: not allowed a vote on this floomple-- on thisfloor. the president has remom nateed the judiciary committee -- the president has renominated them, the judiciary committee reconsidered them. at the republicans' request,

Patrick Leahy

2:41:36 to 2:41:56( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: they were delayed an additional week but then passed out unanimously from the senate judiciary committee. and i'm hoping that finally we can get back to regular order in the consideration of nominations without having to explain the damaging delays. certainly during the years thaifer a been here, whether it's been a republican or

Patrick Leahy

2:41:57 to 2:42:20( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: democratic president, republican or democratic senate, when you have people that are confirmed -- voted out unanimously from the senate judiciary committee, all republicans, all democrats voted for them, they ar there are normally a number of days on

Patrick Leahy

2:42:21 to 2:42:42( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: that calendar, usually a matter of days, and they are confirmed by the snavment the thighed people put their lives on hold. but once they get nominated -- if you are a partner in a law firm, you can't take on new business while you are waiting for this to get done.

Patrick Leahy

2:42:43 to 2:43:03( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: it is somewhat humiliating when you are nominated by the president of the united states, when every republican, every democrat votes for you in the committee, and then for month after month after month you can't get a vote here in the body. and when you do, it is unanimous. the reason i'd like to see us

Patrick Leahy

2:43:04 to 2:43:25( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: return to the way it used to be, cooperation, that we can confront a judicial vacancies cris that's put sear just risk on the ability of americans to find equal a hearing in court -- to a fair hearing in court. there are a lot of places around this country, and the distinguished presiding officer

Patrick Leahy

2:43:26 to 2:43:46( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: was attorney general of his staivment he like when litigants, whatever side of an issue they are, when they go to seek redples a court and there's huge vacancies in the court, the cases can't get heard, gets delayed, delayed, delayed, witnesses die

Patrick Leahy

2:43:47 to 2:44:08( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and way and people start to ask, what is the judicial system in this country? now, i happen to think that we have one of the finest, one of the finest in the world. not if you can't get your case heard. in fact, chief justice roberts commented on this in his most recent statement on the judiciary, urging us to move forward, to get these

Patrick Leahy

2:44:09 to 2:44:31( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: nominations heard. the white house counsel recently spoke to the crisis. the president wrote to year urging action. and the real cost of these unnecessary partisan delays falls on americans who depend on the report. the attorney general warned us

Patrick Leahy

2:44:32 to 2:44:53( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: last year the system on which we depend for prompt cases is stressed to the breaking point. the national aassistant u.s. attorneys, i grew up with career federal prosecutors, said our federal courts cannot function effectively when judicial vacancies restrain the ability

Patrick Leahy

2:44:54 to 2:45:14( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: to render swift but sure justice. as we consider these nominations today, there are still 100 vacancies in the federal judiciary. and despite vacancies for one out of every eight federal judgeships, last year the senate adjourned without voting on 19

Patrick Leahy

2:45:15 to 2:45:36( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: judicial nominations that had been reported favorably by the judiciary committee. today we'll vote on three of those 19. i believe the united states senate has to do better. we can consider and confirm this president's nomination to the federal bench in a timely manner. the president has reached across the aisle to work with home state republican senators.

Patrick Leahy

2:45:37 to 2:45:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i've had a number of republican senators come to me and say they recommended somebody a year ago, they were nominated a year ago, when are they going to get a vote? i remind them they get a vote very quickly in the senate judiciary committee, but they want a vote here. and i agree with them. the president's nominees like

Patrick Leahy

2:45:58 to 2:46:19( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: the nominees for texas and arkansas before us, today are supported by their home state republican senators. now, with judicial vacancies at 104, nearly half of them judicial emergency vacancies, we can't afford the delays. it hinders the federal

Patrick Leahy

2:46:20 to 2:46:42( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: judiciary's ability to fulfill its constitutional role. a return to regular order would mean the nominations sent to the judiciary committee by senate would be considered expeditiously, not stalled, noncontroversial nominations should be taken up and approved on a regular basis. they shouldn't be stalled up for

Patrick Leahy

2:46:43 to 2:47:04( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: weeks and months for no good reason. i go back to the practice that we always had in the past to move quickly when we have well-qualified consensus nominations. now, i thanked senator grassley, the judiciary committee's new ranking member, for his cooperation in helping us report

Patrick Leahy

2:47:05 to 2:47:25( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: 11 of the previously reported nominations last week and working with me to schedule our first confirmation hearing in the new congress. i looked forward to working with him with majority leader reid, republican leader mcconnell to work with the other nominees supported by the judiciary

Patrick Leahy

2:47:26 to 2:47:46( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: committee so we can ensure that the federal judiciary has the judges it needs. i recall president bush's first three years in office. of those first two years, democrats were in charge for 17 months.

Patrick Leahy

2:47:47 to 2:48:07( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i was chairman for 17 months. republicans had not actually even had a hearing on a nominee of president bush's. but i want -- i want at an extremely fast pace. and we reported favorably 100 of his federal circuit and district court nominees and we confirmed

Patrick Leahy

2:48:08 to 2:48:28( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: all 100. it moved at a pace because -- because the predecessor, president clinton, 71 of his nominees had been pocket filibustered so i wanted to show a new day so we moved 100.

Patrick Leahy

2:48:29 to 2:48:50( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: and i continue to work hard to make progress considering his nominations as third and fourth -- his third and fourth year in office and in those 24 months, the republicans have charged they were able without a

Patrick Leahy

2:48:51 to 2:49:13( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: cooperation to get another 105, so that should be a benchmark. by the end of this congress, we should consider and confirm 205 federal judges just as we did during president bush's first term. because we reduced judicial vacancies during the bush administration for more than 10% to less than 4%. during the bush administration the federal court vacancies were

Patrick Leahy

2:49:14 to 2:49:34( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: reduced from 110 to 34. the federal circuit vacancies reduced from a high of 32 down to single digits. democrats voted for almost all of them. but this is not continuing with a democratic president in office. all three branches have to come together when the senate

Patrick Leahy

2:49:35 to 2:49:57( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: considers a president's nomination to a lifetime appointment on the federal bench. we have a constitutional duty to act responsibly. we also have a responsibility to the american people to make sure federal judges are there to protect their rights an administer -- and administer justice.

Patrick Leahy

2:49:58 to 2:50:18( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: i mentioned that one of the nominees is judge diana saldana to the southern district of texas. i say to my good friends, both the senators of texas, are here. one of whom i had the privilege to serve on the senate judiciary committee. both of whom i had the privilege to serve with in the senate. so, mr. president, i would yield the floor and reserve the

Patrick Leahy

2:50:19 to 2:50:20( Edit History Discussion )

Patrick Leahy: balance of my time. a senator:

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