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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Making Historic Progress By Confirming President Biden’s Judicial Nominations And The Confirmation Of Judge Dana Douglas To Serve As A Circuit Court Judge For The Fifth District

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the confirmation of Dana Douglas to serve as a Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth District and the historic shift in the court’s composition under President Biden. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

Later this morning, it will be my honor to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to introduce an exceptional public servant: Arun Subramanian, whom President Biden nominated on my urging to serve as District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Arun Subramanian is one of the few South Asians that are on the bench; we need more. But he will pave the way and it's my intention to continue to support South Asians to come to the bench.

Here on the floor, we will also proceed with the confirmation of Dana Douglas to serve as Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth District, which covers Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Judge Douglas’ confirmation today will be significant for a few reasons.

For one, Judge Douglas will be the twenty-eighth – the twenty-eighth – Circuit Court Judge that this majority confirms in the last two years. Of the many votes we take in this chamber, confirming Circuit Court judges ranks near the top in importance: the lions’ share of all federal cases, after all, are decided at the Circuit Court level.

Judge Douglas is also significant because after her confirmation, the Senate will have confirmed eleven Black women to serve as circuit court judges. This is a record for any single session of Congress; before President Biden, only eight such nominees had been confirmed by this chamber. So this is truly a historic shift in the court’s composition.

This representation matters enormously. The health of our federal courts hangs on judges who will both apply the law correctly while also earning Americans’ trust in the first place. The more our courts look like the country at large, the more languages and backgrounds and specialties we have on the bench, the more likely that trust endures. That’s more important than ever, given the recent disturbing decisions handed down by the Supreme Court.

That’s why judges like Dana Douglas matter. That’s why circuit court judges matter. And we’re going to keep working for the rest of this year and beyond to bring diversity and balance back to our courts.