Durbin Questions District Court Nominees In Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today questioned district court nominees at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Bridget Meehan Brennan, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio; John H. Chun, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington; Charles Esque Fleming, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio; and David Augustin Ruiz, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio.
Durbin first asked Brennan to explain a case she prosecuted which involved the use of the Hate Crime Prevention Act to address religiously motivated violence.
“The wrinkle in that case is worth noting. This was not discrimination against Amish people by non-Amish people, but discrimination within the religion. Could you describe the situation to us?” Durbin asked.
Brennan said one Amish community believed that another community were Amish hypocrites by not performing or recognizing the religion as they should. Violent attacks resulted as one community sought to enforce religious practices on the other.
Durbin then asked Ruiz to explain his involvement in a number of consolidated federal civil litigation cases involving opioid manufacturers. Ruiz said that, as a federal magistrate judge, he assisted the district judge in that matter by issuing reports and recommendations on how to consider the various motions to dismiss and how to rule in those cases.
Durbin then asked Fleming to respond to those who have criticized the Biden Administration’s nomination of federal public defenders to serve on the federal bench.
“President Biden has nominated a number of federal public defenders and some of their critics have said they cannot be fair in a court room; they are going to judge people ‘not guilty’ in case after case because of their background as defenders. What is your answer to that?” Durbin asked.
Fleming said he was one of the kids on the playground who would intervene if he saw kids being bullied because of his desire to not see them treated unfairly. He said it is that passion that motivated him to become a federal public defender and now to become a judge. He said he understands what it means to be fair and impartial in a court proceeding and he would bring that passion to be fair and impartial as a district judge.
Video of Durbin’s questions in Committee are available here.
Audio of Durbin’s questions in Committee are available here.
Footage of Durbin’s questions in Committee are available here for TV Stations.
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