Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s continued work to confirm President Biden’s judicial nominees. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Our democracy cannot hope to hang together for very long without a trusted, balanced, and fair-minded judiciary. As we have seen in stark and frightful ways in recent months, the men and women who preside from the bench hold immense power over our nation’s destiny and over our people’s liberties.
When it comes to nominating people to the bench, it is imperative that we get it right.
So today, the Senate will continue its duty to advance President Biden’s highly qualified, highly diverse, and highly accomplished judicial nominees.
We will begin this afternoon by voting on the confirmation of Judge John Lee to serve as Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit.
If confirmed, Judge Lee will make history as the first Asian American ever to preside on the Seventh Circuit, joining the proud company of other Biden nominees who are making our courts more reflective of our country.
I expect Judge Lee to receive bipartisan support, and his record certainly merits it.
He’s already been confirmed by this chamber when appointed to serve as district judge roughly a decade ago, and over the course of his tenure, Judge Lee has authored over 800 opinions while being reversed only 11 times.
Later today, the Senate will also vote to advance the nomination of another outstanding individual: Andre Mathis to serve as Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit. Mr. Mathis would be the first Black man confirmed to the Sixth Circuit in nearly a quarter of a century, and the first to hail from Tennessee.
Growing up, Mr. Mathis knew what it was like to go days without food, water, or heating, and yet despite immense adversity he was the first in his family to attend college and graduate from Law School with honors. He spent over 15 years in private practice and has an extensive pro-bono record. If confirmed I am confident Mr. Mathis would make an excellent circuit court judge.
Confirming Judges will continue to be a very top priority for the Senate in the days, and weeks, and months to come. Last night, I filed cloture on two additional Circuit nominees, which members can expect to begin voting on as soon as Thursday.
Now, I want to take a moment to emphasize how far Senate Democrats have come in keeping our promise to bring balance back to the federal bench, which under President Trump skewed dramatically – dramatically – to the hard right.
To date, Senate Democrats have confirmed 76 federal judges, more than the number, far more than the number confirmed at this point of President Trump’s presidency. In fact, we have confirmed more judges than either President Trump or President Obama did this far into their Administrations.
In a dramatic break from the past, seventy-five percent of these nominees have been women, half of them women of color. That’s a figure I dare say has never been seen before when it comes to judicial nominees.
We are going to continue prioritizing judges moving forward. We cannot let the judiciary succumb to the hard right, because, as we have seen, the consequences are devastating to the American people.