Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On His Recommendation Of Voting Rights Experts Myrna Pérez And Dale Ho To Serve In Federal Judgeships And On The Senate Confirming The First Of President Biden’s Judicial Nominees Starting This Week

June 7, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding his recommendation of two nominees to federal judgeships and the Senate moving forward to confirm President Biden’s judicial nominees starting this week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today and tomorrow, the Senate will confirm the first of President Biden’s nominees to the federal bench: Julien Xavier Neals of New Jersey and Regina Rodriguez of Colorado. I also look forward to confirming other highly qualified jurists later during this work period, including Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

These are the first of many jurists that the Democratic Senate will consider to restore the balance to the federal judiciary.

Under President Trump and Leader McConnell, the Senate became a conveyor belt for nearly 200 judges. Many were woefully inexperienced and far outside the judicial mainstream. Some were so extreme on issues of race and voting rights that even some of our Republican colleagues joined Democrats in rejecting their nominations.

On the flip side, President Obama appointed 320 judges and President Biden now has the opportunity to fill more than 80—80—vacancies. Under this Democratic majority, the Senate will swiftly and consistently confirm President Biden’s appointments to the federal bench, bringing balance, experience, and diversity back to the judiciary. Mr. Neals and Ms. Rodriguez are two great examples, along with Ms. Brown-Jackson.

Now, in the same vein, today, I also announced two judicial recommendations to President Biden: Myrna Pérez, the director of voting rights at the Brennan Center for Justice, to serve on the prestigious Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and Dale Ho, the leader of the voting rights project at the ACLU, to serve on the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Pérez and Mr. Ho are two of the foremost voting rights and election experts in the country. With a national focus on voting rights, their elevation is timely and their perspective will be invaluable. Ms. Pérez would also be the first Latina to serve on the Second circuit court since now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Diversity on the federal bench is very important to me, both demographic diversity AND diversity of experience. The courts have long been packed with former prosecutors and corporate lawyers. It’s about time that civil rights attorneys, voting rights attorneys, and federal defenders start getting the nod.

My recommendation of Ms. Pérez and Mr. Ho are part of that effort. Last month, I also recommended Eunice Lee, an appellate attorney with the Federal Defenders of New York, to serve as a judge on the Second Circuit.

Lee could become just the second Black woman to sit on this prestigious appeals court, a court that has never—never—had a former federal defender on its roster.

Just like Ms. Pérez and Mr. Ho, Eunice Lee will bring demographic and professional diversity to the federal bench. The three of them in tandem will bring dynamism, brilliance, and a real diversity of experience to the courts in New York.

As the Senator from New York, and as the Majority Leader, I’m intent on restoring balance to a judiciary that has been thrown out of whack by four years of President Trump’s selections.