Senate To Consider Three More Well-Credentialed Circuit Judges
‘First, the Senate will consider the nomination of Leonard Steven Grasz to serve on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Then, it will consider the nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. And finally, later this week, the Senate will also consider the nomination of James Ho to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Each of these nominees will make strong additions to the federal bench, and I look forward to considering them in t
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the three circuit court nominees the Senate is set to consider this week:
“This week, the Senate will consider three more outstanding individuals nominated by President Trump to serve on our nation’s federal circuit courts. For eight years, we had a president who selected judicial nominees based on a so-called ‘empathy standard.’ It was an ideological litmus test designed to find nominees who would favor certain groups or individuals over others. While that may sound like a good standard to the party in the case for whom the judge has empathy, it doesn’t sound so great if you’re the other person.
“On the other hand, President Trump has nominated talented individuals who will ensure that the federal judiciary maintains its particular role in our constitutional system. The judicial nominees before the Senate this week are each well-credentialed and have the integrity and temperament to serve our nation on the circuit courts. They are dedicated to upholding the rule of law and giving every litigant a fair shake. That’s how the American people expect judges to decide cases. And the Senate is working to confirm President Trump’s nominees who will do just that.
“First, the Senate will consider the nomination of Leonard Steven Grasz to serve on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Then, it will consider the nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. And finally, later this week, the Senate will also consider the nomination of James Ho to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Each of these nominees will make strong additions to the federal bench, and I look forward to considering them in the coming days. I would like to once again commend Chairman Grassley for his leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His excellent work has allowed us to bring these nominees to the floor.
“Later today, the Senate will advance the nomination of Mr. Grasz, a talented individual with experience in both private practice and public service. After graduating from law school at the University of Nebraska, Mr. Grasz began a distinguished career in the law. Working as the Chief Deputy Attorney General of Nebraska for nearly twelve years, he excelled representing the State of Nebraska in numerous appellate cases, including before the United States Supreme Court.
“Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, along with five other top state officials, wrote a letter to the Judiciary Committee supporting Mr. Grasz’s nomination. Here’s what they had to say:
“‘Steve has become a leading expert on state and federal constitutional law. His demeanor and temperament have earned the respect of Nebraskans across the political spectrum in our state.’
“Mr. Grasz has won the support of prominent Nebraskans from both sides of the aisle. Our former colleague, Senator Ben Nelson, came to know Mr. Grasz when Senator Nelson was the Governor of Nebraska. Senator Nelson wrote, ‘Steve won my respect by putting his considerable skills to work as an effective legal advocate for our state.’
“‘We sometimes found ourselves disagreeing on policy,’ he continued, ‘nevertheless, I quickly learned that Steve was the kind of consummate professional who is capable of putting whatever personal views he may have aside when appropriate in his capacity as a public servant.’
“‘He was an asset to our state, and Nebraskans benefitted from having such a capable and thoughtful professional in public service.’
“Furthermore, the Obama Administration’s U.S. Attorney for Nebraska worked with Mr. Grasz in the state, and she wrote in support of his nomination. ‘Steve has always enjoyed a reputation for honesty, impeccable integrity and dedication to the rule of law.’
“‘He possesses an even temperament well-suited for the bench,’ she continued, ‘and always acts with respect to all [who] interact with him.’
“In addition, a letter from the current and previous presidents of the Omaha Bar Association stated that the Omaha legal community supports Mr. Grasz’s nomination, ‘without hesitation.’ The letter goes on to say that he, ‘possesses the legal expertise, professionalism, character, and ethics that are demanded of a Judge on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.’ The local legal community – both government officials and private attorneys –overwhelmingly attest not just to Mr. Grasz’s impressive qualifications but to his commitment to fairness and the rule of law.
“Through his decades of legal practice, Mr. Grasz has shown that he is the right choice to serve on the Eighth Circuit. I am proud to join with our colleagues from Nebraska in supporting Mr. Grasz’s nomination. I look forward to voting to advance his nomination later today, and to confirming all three of these circuit court nominees this week.”
Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Nominations