Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the continued historic nominations to the federal bench that President Biden is appointing and the Senate is confirming. Today, the Senate will confirm Justice Beth Robinson of Vermont to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Toby Heytens to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Last week, the Senate confirmed seven more judges to serve lifetime appointments on the federal bench. Just about all of them were people of color; all but two were women. Among them were more federal defenders, civil rights lawyers, election experts. They will bring sorely-needed diversity to the judiciary: not just personal diversity – demographic diversity, as important as that is – but professional diversity as well, adding to the breadth and width and depth of knowledge possessed by the courts. It’s no longer a bench, that we are appointing, that is simply prosecutors, partners in large law firms—but rather many, many others, from walks of life with different and needed perspectives on the federal bench.
And, today we are going to pick up right where we left off: later this afternoon we will vote to confirm Justice Beth Robinson of Vermont to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Toby Heytens to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
A former clerk to the late Justice Ginsburg, Mr. Heytens is a veteran of the Justice Department and until recently the Solicitor General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is regarded by both sides of the aisle as a superbly skilled lawyer and an impartial thinker.
In Justice Robinson—who has spent ten distinguished years on the Vermont State Supreme Court—the Senate is presented with another experienced, dedicated, and historic nominee. She would be the very first openly gay woman to serve not just in the Second Circuit, but in any federal circuit court in the country—another barrier torn down in the halls of justice. We are proud of tearing down those barriers and making the bench more inclusive and more like America.
I look forward to her confirmation today, and in the weeks and months to come, Senate Democrats will continue pressing ahead to bring balance back to our federal courts with diverse, mainstream, qualified, and impartial jurists.