Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the consideration of President Biden’s judicial nominees and yesterday’s confirmation of Myrna Pérez to serve on the Second Circuit. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today is going to be a busy day on the floor of the Senate.
Last week, I filed cloture on five of President Biden’s nominees to serve as US District Judges, and today we are going to begin working on these nominees.
Even as Senate Democrats proceed on our agenda to help working and middle class families and tackle the climate crisis, we will not relent on speedily filling the vacancies in our federal judiciary with qualified, mainstream, and diverse jurists. Yesterday, we took a big step forward towards achieving that goal by confirming Myrna Pérez to serve on the Second Circuit, one of the most important courts in the land.
And the judges we will begin considering today continue that effort: more civil rights lawyers, more diverse candidates, more federal defenders.
To date, the Senate has now confirmed 13 nominees to serve on our district courts, with 20 overall lifetime appointments to the federal bench. Many of these individuals are knocking down long-standing barriers to the halls of justice: the first Native American Judge, the First Muslim-American District Judge, and among all of President Biden’s nominees to date, over half, over half are women. We’re proud of that.
In a broader sense, President Biden’s judicial nominees are also expanding and rewriting the rules of who merits consideration for the bench. Our federal courts have long been presided over by former corporate lawyers and prosecutors and men. To be sure many of these individuals have served admirably as judges, and I’ve been proud to support many of them over the years.
But our federal judges more than ever—more than ever—are an essential component of our democracy, and they should better reflect the richness and diversity of our nation. Not just demographic and cultural diversity, but professional diversity too: we need more judges who know what it’s like to defend people who normally can’t afford attorneys. We need more judges who have fought for those who’ve faced discrimination in the workplace or because of the color of their skin. And we need more judges who understand the economic hardship that so many people have when they’re forced to sign documents and other things that will hurt them economically. And we need judges who have been in the fight against efforts—stronger than they’ve ever been, unfortunately—to undermine our democracy.
We need our federal bench, in other words, to mirror our country as a whole. That is how we restore balance to the bench and strengthen people’s trust in the federal judiciary.
So we are going—as a Democratic majority—we are going to keep working this week to make sure these nominees are confirmed by this chamber. I hope both sides can work in good faith to move the process along quickly and in a bipartisan fashion.