Durbin Statement On Successful Discharge Vote For Rachael Rollins, Nominated To Be U.S. Attorney For The District Of Massachusetts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement after the Senate voted to discharge Rachael S. Rollins, nominated to be United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, from the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 50-47.  In September, Rollins’ nomination advanced out of Committee by a vote of 11-11.  Under the provisions of S. Res. 27, Leader Schumer had to file a discharge motion on Rollins’ nomination to place her on the executive calendar. 


“I’m pleased that my colleagues recognized the support Ms. Rollins enjoys in Massachusetts and her unquestionable qualifications for this job and have successfully discharged her from Committee.


“But let me be clear: the longstanding, nearly 30 year precedent in the Judiciary Committee is to voice vote U.S. Attorney nominees.  In fact, the Committee has only ever held a roll call vote on three U.S. Attorney nominees—in 1993, 1982, and 1975. 


“Further, the last time the full Senate held any procedural vote on a U.S. Attorney nominee was also in 1993, when Republicans demanded a cloture vote on Janet Napolitano’s nomination to be U.S. Attorney for Arizona.


“So why are Republicans abandoning a 30-year precedent?  They claim it is rooted in Ms. Rollins’ record.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I would ask my colleagues to rethink an approach that departs from precedent and fails to recognize the qualifications of this nominee and the broad support her nomination enjoys from law enforcement.”


From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Rollins was an Assistant United States Attorney in Massachusetts.  She started in the office’s Civil Division, and then went on to prosecute money laundering and both civil and criminal health care fraud and procurement fraud.


After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Rollins served in a number of senior posts with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Port Authority.  In 2018, Ms. Rollins was elected to serve as the District Attorney of Suffolk County.


In that capacity, she leads an office of 300, including 150 lawyers, who collectively handle 25,000 new criminal case filings and 1,000 criminal investigations annually.  Under her watch, the office’s Homicide Unit has seen a 21 percent increase in completed trials, and that unit has supervised more than 165 legacy unsolved homicide cases. Notably, homicides in Boston declined by 31 percent in 2019—after Ms. Rollins took office—making it the lowest number in decades.