Durbin: Senate Approves Yandle For Southern District Judgeship

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate has confirmed Staci Yandle for a federal judgeship on the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois. She will serve in the Benton Federal Courthouse. The Senate approved Yandle by a vote of 52-44.

“Staci Yandle’s confirmation today marks another important milestone in the journey toward equality of opportunity for all Americans. Her confirmation is not only historic, it is well deserved,” said Durbin. “Our bipartisan screening committee chose Ms. Yandle based on her extensive trial experience, her commitment to her community and her record of professional integrity.”

Video of Durbin’s full statement in support of Yandle’s nomination on the Senate Floor is available here.


Durbin chaired Yandle’s confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Durbin is a member, in March. Her nomination was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in April after receiving a broad bipartisan vote. Video of Durbin introducing Yandle at her confirmation hearing is available here.

Ms. Yandle has owned her own practice, the Law Offices of Staci M. Yandle, in O’Fallon since 2007. Previously she worked for four years at The Rex Carr Law Firm and for 16 years at the law firm Carr, Korein, Tillery. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation, and she also taught for nearly a decade as an adjunct professor at the St. Louis University Law School. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Vanderbilt University School of Law. Ms. Yandle lives in Carlyle.

In April of last year, Durbin established a bipartisan screening committee to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges for Southern Illinois. Durbin’s screening committee was comprised of comprised of 6 distinguished Illinoisans drawn from various aspects of the legal profession. The committee was co-chaired by Lois Wood, Executive Director of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, and the Honorable George W. Timberlake (ret.), former chief judge of the Illinois Second Judicial Circuit.


The screening committee reviewed the applications, interviewed applicants and references, and recommended the names of several individuals to Durbin.  Durbin reviewed the screening committee’s recommendations, conducted interviews of the finalists, and – in consultation with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) – submitted the screening committee’s recommendations to the President, who makes the final decisions on nominees.


Durbin’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:


Nomination of Staci Yandle to Serve on the

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

June 17, 2014


I rise to speak in support of Staci Yandle, who has been nominated to serve as a federal district court judge in the Southern District of Illinois.


She will fill the vacancy in the Benton Courthouse that was created when Judge J. Phil Gilbert took senior status in March.


This vacancy has been designated a judicial emergency by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and I am glad the Senate is moving to fill this seat.


Ms. Yandle has the experience, integrity and judgment to serve as an outstanding judge.


She was born in Centreville, Illinois, and she currently lives in Carlyle.


She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and her law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law.


Over the course of her legal career Ms. Yandle has gained extensive experience in the courtroom. Currently, she has her own solo practice, The Law Offices of Staci M. Yandle, which is based in O’Fallon, Illinois and which she has operated since 2007.


She previously worked for several law firms in Southern Illinois, including Carr, Korein, Tillery, and The Rex Carr Law Firm.


Ms. Yandle has handled a wide range of litigation matters over her career, including employment, education, medical injury, civil rights, and nursing home abuse cases. In most of her cases, she has served either as lead counsel or sole counsel.


She has also worked as an arbitrator for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court in Illinois.


Ms. Yandle currently serves on the board of the Illinois Bar Foundation, and she has taught as an adjunct law professor at the St. Louis University of School of Law.


Additionally, Ms. Yandle has a distinguished record of pro bono service in Southern Illinois. She has represented indigent clients and non-profit corporations, including the Delta Economic Development Corporation, which operates a child care center in St. Clair County.


Ms. Yandle’s nomination is historic in several respects.


Never before in Illinois history has there been an Article III federal judge who was openly a member of the LGBT community. Upon confirmation, Staci Yandle will be the first.


Upon confirmation, Ms. Yandle will also be the first African-American federal judge ever to serve in the Southern District of Illinois.


And she will be only the second woman to serve as a federal judge in the Southern District, joining Nancy Rosenstengel, who was confirmed last month.


In short, Staci Yandle’s confirmation will mark another important milestone in the journey toward equality of opportunity for all Americans.


Ms. Yandle was recommended to me by a bipartisan screening committee that I established to review judicial candidates for the Southern District. I was pleased to recommend her to the President and am pleased that she is now being considered by the Senate.


Ms. Yandle had her hearing before the Judiciary Committee in March. She was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on April 3 on a broad bipartisan vote (17-1).


In conclusion, Ms. Yandle is an excellent nominee and I hope my colleagues will join me in voting to confirm her.