Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Filing Cloture On Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson To The DC Circuit And Moving Quickly To Confirm President Biden’s Diverse And Well Qualified Judicial Nominees

June 9, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need move quickly to confirm President Biden’s diverse judicial nominees. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed the first two judges of President Biden’s tenure: now-Judges Neals of New Jersey and Rodriguez of Colorado.

These judges are only the first of many to come. The Democratic majority in the Senate is going to move quickly to confirm President Biden’s judicial appointments. So after the two confirmations yesterday, we wasted no time in preparing the next slate of nominees.

Last night I took the necessary steps to set up votes on two more judges: Zahid Quraishi for the District Court of New Jersey, and Kentanji Brown Jackson to serve on the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Democrats believe in not only bringing demographic diversity, but professional diversity to the federal bench. In fact, this morning I had the privilege of introducing my recommendation to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the Judiciary Committee, Ms. Eunice Lee.

Once confirmed, Ms. Lee would become the second African-American woman ever to sit on the powerful and important Second Circuit, and would be the only former federal defender among its active roster of judges.

As I mentioned, we believe in democratic demographic diversity, but professional diversity as well. All too often, the bench has been filled with a very narrow sector: partners in big law firms, prosecutors. What about the rest? What about public defenders like Ms. Lee? What about voting rights lawyers like Mr. Ho and Ms. Pérez, whom I recommended to the president this week?

We must expand not only demographic diversity, but professional diversity. And I know that President Biden agrees with me on this, and this will be something that I will set out to do not only in New York, along with Senator Gillibrand, but across the country.

The other two nominees I mentioned are powerful examples as well.

Mr. Quraishi will be the first American Muslim in United States history to serve as an Article III federal judge. Third largest religion in the United States; and he’ll become the first to ever serve as an Article III judge. We will confirm his nomination this week.

And next up is the nomination of Judge Jackson.

After a sterling career as a district court judge, a federal defender, a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and a clerk to Justice Breyer, Ms. Brown Jackson is poised to take a seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the land. She will fill the seat of the now-Attorney General, Merrick Garland.

Oftentimes nominees to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court are controversial, in spite of their qualifications, because the stakes are so high. But I’m proud to say that Ms. Brown Jackson came out of the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan— a bipartisan—vote. And soon, the entire Senate will confirm this highly qualified jurist to one of the most important positions and courts in the country.