In Speech on Senate Floor, Durbin Celebrates Milestone Of 200 Judges Confirmed During Biden Administration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor ahead of the confirmation of the 200th Article III judge confirmed during the Biden Administration.  These 200 confirmations highlight the Judiciary Committee’s work filling judicial vacancies with highly qualified, diverse candidates who help ensure the fair and impartial administration of the American justice system.

“Over the past three years something profound has happened on the floor of the United States Senate.  We have been building one of the most important accomplishments of the Biden-Harris administration—the confirmation of highly-qualified, independent, evenhanded judges to the federal bench.  Today, the Senate will confirm the 200th lifetime judge since President Biden took office,” said Durbin.  “This is an extraordinary slate of judges who are ruling with reason and restraint.  These judges respect the rule of law, adhere to precedent, and above all, answer only to the Constitution.”

Durbin went on to highlight the difference between judicial nominees confirmed under the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration.

“When I hear some of my Republican colleagues reminisce about the former President’s nominees, I have to wonder, which ones are they talking about?  Are they talking about several nominees who have never tried a case?  How about the district court nominee in the previous administration who challenged the legal basis for both surrogacy and in vitro-fertilization?  Or the Sixth Circuit nominee who likened abortion to slavery?  And who could forget the Ninth Circuit nominee in the previous administration whose colleagues called him ‘arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking in knowledge of the day-to-day practice of law.’  Yet some Republican Senators have relied on increasingly absurd criticisms in an attempt to criticize President Biden’s nominees,” said Durbin.  “In a new low, some of my Republican colleagues have gone so far as to falsely claim that an historic nominee, who would be the first Muslim American to serve on the federal appellate court, is antisemitic and anti-law enforcement.  As I’ve said repeatedly, these bigoted attacks are false and should not stand.”

Durbin continued, “Something that stands out about President Biden’s nominees, aside from their qualifications and loyalty to the rule of law, is the professional and demographic diversity they bring to the bench.  We’ve made history confirming more Black women to the federal circuit courts than all prior Presidents combined.  Of course, we confirmed the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson… Beyond this demographic diversity, there is a record-breaking professional diversity.  In the past three years, we have confirmed more public defenders as circuit judges than all prior Presidents combined.  We’ve confirmed state court judges, federal magistrates and bankruptcy judges, and prosecutors who have made significant contributions to the country’s justice system… Another notable aspect of this record is that the vast majority, nearly 90 percent of these confirmations, have been bipartisan—nearly 90 percent.  This includes over three-quarters of the appellate nominees.”

Durbin concluded, “The American people deserve federal judges who not only look like America, but understand the American experience from every angle.  We have accomplished this during the longest evenly-divided Senate in history and now with a narrow majority.  We celebrate these 200 judges, but should not stop here.  We will continue elevating jurists who are qualified, principled, and committed above all to protecting the Constitution.  The American people deserve nothing less.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.