Durbin Delivers Opening Statement In Latest Nominations Hearing
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered an opening statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Roopali H. Desai, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit; Doris L. Pryor, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit; Maria del R. Antongiorgi-Jordán, to be United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico; Gina R. Méndez-Miró, to be United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico; and Camille L. Vélez-Rivé, to be United States District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico.
During his opening remarks, Durbin noted the historic nomination of Judge Doris Pryor who, if confirmed, will be the first judge of color from Indiana to serve on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Pryor is also the first circuit nominee this Congress who has received blue slips from two Republican Senators.
Durbin also introduced the nominees to the three District Court seats in Puerto Rico, noting that the nominees are highly qualified and bring important professional and demographic diversity to their positions.
“After graduating from Georgetown, Ms. Antongiorgi joined the law firm McConnell Valdes in its San Juan office. Over the course of nearly two decades with the firm, she had a wide-ranging litigation practice—complex civil matters and criminal defense work as well. In total, she participated in an amazing 42 trials—there aren’t many who can say that—and served as chief or co-chief counsel in 36 of the 42.”
“In 2018, [Antongiorgi was] appointed Chief Deputy Clerk of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, [and in] 2019, promoted to Clerk of Court… she helped the court navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and kept the court functioning.”
“After working in private practice for several years, [Judge Méndez-Miró] spent the rest of her career in public service. She has worked in all three branches of the Puerto Rico government.”
“In 2016, the Puerto Rico Governor appointed Judge Méndez-Miró to the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals, a position which she was unanimously confirmed to by the Puerto Rico Senate. As a judge, she has presided over a range of civil and criminal appeals.”
“Judge Vélez-Rivé currently serves the District of Puerto Rico as a Magistrate [Judge], first appointed to this role in 2004—only the second woman to serve as a Magistrate Judge for Puerto Rico—and over the past 18 years she has handled a variety of criminal and civil matters, including presiding over 26 trials that have gone to verdict or judgment.”
“Prior to her service on the bench, Judge Vélez-Rivé served the District of Puerto Rico as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. [She] spent two years in the Criminal Appellate Division, drafted over 80 appellate briefs, [and] argued 10 times before the First Circuit Court of Appeals. She spent four years in the Civil Division, handling approximately 65 cases and [one] bench trial.”
Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.
Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.
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