Arizona Senators’ Statements on Judicial Nominations
Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Members on blue slip home-state Senator requirement for judicial nominees
(Republican - Idaho, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana) 05/08/17
In addition to Grassley, more than a half-dozen other Republicans on the judiciary panel said in interviews that they have no plans to ditch blue slips. ... Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who has 11 district court vacancies in his home state, along with two empty appellate court seats, called the blue slip an “equal opportunity irritant.” “When it’s an impediment, then people don’t like it. When it’s helpful, people like it,” Cornyn said. “What it does [is], it provokes a negotiation, which I don’t think is an altogether bad thing.” Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) offered a similar defense of the practice. “We used it effectively — myself with Sen. [John] McCain — to negotiate with the Obama administration on judges,” Flake said. “I like that tradition.”
Sen. Flake Presses 9th Circuit on Court’s Taxpayer-funded Lobbying Efforts Against Split Legislation
(Republican - Arizona) 05/01/17
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today sent a follow-up letter to the top administrator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit questioning the court’s political activities geared toward resisting his legislation to create a new 12th Circuit.... “Establishing a new federal circuit with stronger local, regional, and cultural ties will ease the caseload burden across the West and ensure that Arizonans finally get the swift access to justice they deserve,” said Flake. “While we must protect judicial independence, we must also ensure that 9th Circuit officials do not interfere with Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of our federal courts.”
Sen. John McCain wants no nukes [no nuclear option for Supreme Court nominations]
(Republican - Arizona) 04/04/17
“I think it’s a dark day in the history of the United States Senate. It’s going to happen. It’s interesting that Republicans were dead set against it when my former colleague Harry Reid invoked it with the judges. But now it seems to be ‘okay.’ What we should have done is what we did in 2005 and that was a group of us got together, 14 of us, and said look we won’t filibuster except in extraordinary conditions. And now, we are so polarized now, including between the two leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, that there’s no communications anymore. But, look, if you can do this with 51 votes, what do you think the next nominee is going to be like? And then what do you think is going to happen when eventually the Democrats are in the majority in the Senate, and that’s going to happen sooner or later. I hope later.”
Sen. Flake Presses 9th Circuit for Answers on “Unsettling” Statement to Media: Sends letter regarding public information office’s decision to take sides on his pending legislation to break up the court
(Republican - Arizona) 02/10/17
“I am aware that individual judges within the Ninth Circuit have historically expressed opinions on the topic. Some are in favor of the split. Others oppose it. Others view the question as a matter of legislative prerogative… It was unsettling to learn that an Article III court has a position on pending legislation and that a public information officer would purport to speak on behalf of the court as a whole, notwithstanding the diversity of opinion members of the court have historically expressed on this question,” wrote Flake.
Sen. Flake on bid to split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
(Republican - Arizona) 01/22/17
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he’s planning to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to split up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals .... “With regard to the court, it’s just access to justice,” Flake said. “Its docket is more than twice as big as the next biggest circuit. This has been a long time coming, and hopefully we can make some progress finally.” Flake’s office said the bill will be similar to the legislation he introduced a year ago to establish an additional U.S. circuit court — composed of Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Idaho and Alaska — to relieve what he said at the time is an “oversized and overworked” 9th U.S. Circuit.
AZ Senators: Apply for Federal Judicial Nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 01/20/17
As stated in the United States Constitution, the President of the United States shall nominate, “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate,” judges and all other officers of the United States. In keeping with this constitutional responsibility Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are currently requesting that qualified individuals who would like to be considered for an appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Court Judge for the Federal District of Arizona, for the position of United States Attorney or United States Marshall, and additional judicial appointments as vacancies warrant, please submit completed applications as soon as possible.... n order to expedite the process, Senators McCain and Flake have established an informal group of legal professionals referred to as the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, to help locate and evaluate potential candidates.
SENATORS JOHN MCCAIN AND JEFF FLAKE FEDERAL JUDICIARY EVALUATION COMMITTEE (FJEC)
(Republican - Arizona) 01/20/17
"For which court are you applying (check one or each): U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona; U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona"
Even with GOP in power, Sens. John McCain, Jeff Flake want to preserve Senate filibuster
(Republican - Arizona) 12/02/16
Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake are saying the Senate, controlled by their fellow Republicans, should not tinker with filibuster rules to ease the path for incoming President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominations and legislative agenda. But McCain, Arizona's senior senator, signaled to The Arizona Republic that he might reconsider his position should Senate Democrats prove intransigent.... "I would like to see us not break the 60-vote rule, but I can't rule out consideration of it if we are just totally gridlocked," McCain said. "But we also have to keep in mind that at no time in history has one party always remained in the majority. That's democracy.... Flake, Arizona's junior senator, was more adamant in his defense of the filibuster. Jettisoning the filibuster for legislation would be particularly damaging to the system and "would change the very nature of the Senate," he said. "As for the agenda, I think we can work with a number of Democrats," Flake said. "We won't always be in the majority and, if you like limited government, I think the filibuster is wise."
Sen. Flake on filibusters of Supreme Court nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 11/16/16
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., all said Tuesday that they would not support a change to the Senate rules to require a simple majority vote to end a Democratic filibuster for high court nominees. "I never wanted to go nuclear – I think we could do it without going nuclear," Flake said in a brief interview about the looming high court fight.
Sen. Flake on Merrick Garland nomination to fill Supreme Court vacancy
(Republican - Arizona) 10/03/16
[Sen.] Flake believes his party miscalculated on Garland from the evening Scalia died and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut the door on confirming anyone—from a Republican ally to a moderate like Garland—that President Obama put forward to fill the vacancy. “Our position shouldn’t be that the next president ought to decide. Nobody really believes that, because if this were the last year of a Republican presidency nobody would say that,” Flake said with a chuckle. “Our position ought to be to confirm the most conservative justice to replace Scalia—to maintain the balance on the Court. That ought to be the principle, and that would allow for us to go with Garland if the alternative is somebody more liberal.”
Sen. McCain on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland
(Republican - Arizona) 10/03/16
"From what I’ve seen of his record, he is too far left. They’re portraying him as a moderate, but I’ve seen a couple, three decisions of his I do not agree with. If Hillary Clinton is elected, then it will depend on who has a majority in the United States Senate. If we have the majority then that nominee would have to be acceptable to us. If they’re in the majority, then it’s much harder, but it would still require 60 votes. And I align myself completely with my dear, beloved friend Joe Biden, who in 1992 took to the floor of the Senate and said, by God, let the people decide. We’re not going to have a lame-duck Congress decide a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Sen. McCain stands firm on opposition to Supreme Court hearings—although he'd have pushed for them if he were president
(Republican - Arizona) 09/22/16
Sen. John McCain has stood strong in opposing hearings for President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland .... But while he believes in that principle from his current post in the Senate, McCain told the Weekly over the weekend that he would have pushed to appoint a justice if he were in the last year of his second term as president. "I'm sure I would want it to be part of my legacy, but that's our system of government," McCain said. "There are three co-equal branches. It's not where you stand, it's where you sit. In the Senate, my priorities and my responsibilities as a legislator are very different than my priorities and authority as the executive."... McCain, who has voted against confirming Obama nominees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, said that he would also oppose Garland if the GOP were to budge and allow hearings. "From what I've seen of his record, it's too far left," McCain said. "They're portraying him as a moderate, but there are a couple, three decisions of his that I would not agree with."
Sen. Flake on Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 06/30/16
Flake, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is open to holding a vote for Garland if it starts to get close to November and Donald Trump still looks like he won't win the presidency. "Obviously if we lose the election and lose the White House, then we ought to move quickly to confirm [Garland]," the Republican senator told Business Insider. "And I think if it becomes apparent that we aren't going to win the White House — if we know in October that it's not good — then we've got to move forward at that point." "But I don't think my view is shared by too many of my colleagues," he continued. "Or enough of my colleagues to do it."
Sen. Flake on Chief Judge Merrick Garland Supreme Court nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 05/08/16
"I think Republicans are more than justified in waiting. That is following both principle and precedent. But the principle is to have the most conservative, qualified jurists that we can have on the Supreme Court, not that the people ought to decide before the next election. I've never held that position. If we come to a point, I've said all along, where we're going to lose the election, or we lose the election in November, then we ought to approve him quickly. Because I'm certain that he'll be more conservative than a Hillary Clinton nomination comes January."
Sen. Flake: No Scalia Replacement This Year
(Republican - Arizona) 02/22/16
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today issued the following statement: “One would have to go back more than a century to find a scenario where a president’s nominee for the Supreme Court was confirmed by the opposition party in the Senate when the vacancy occurred during an election year. I'm not about to break new ground in the Senate, particularly when any nominee could so drastically shift the balance of the court.”
Sen. McCain defends his opposition to Obama on Supreme Court pick
(Republican - Arizona) 02/21/16
"This is about a lame-duck president who will be unaccountable to the American people," McCain, R-Ariz., told The Arizona Republic. "And I think that one of the most important duties of a president of the United States is to nominate. Obviously, as we know, it's the Senate that confirms. But I want the next president to be held responsible for the selection of his or her nominee."... "When Harry Reid broke the rules to ram through judges to lifetime appointments — he broke the rules — I said at the time if you do this it will be impossible for us to cooperate with you," McCain reiterated with regard to the Scalia situation.
Sen. McCain [on Supreme Court vacancy]
(Republican - Arizona) 02/15/16
“I believe that we should wait until after the next election and let the American people pick the next president, and we should consider who the next president of the United States nominates,” McCain said on Arizona radio.
Sen. McCain Floor Statement
(Republican - Arizona) 03/19/15
"[W]e were able to fill vacancies in the U.S. District Court of Arizona last year--effectively alleviating a judicial emergency. With tremendous bipartisan support of the nomination of Senator Flake and myself, we confirmed a diverse and historic slate of six nominees which included an Hispanic, an African American, and the first Native American woman ever to serve on the Federal bench. But their race had nothing to do with their successful confirmations, just as the race of Ms. Lynch should have no impact on her consideration in this body. Those six judges were approved by this body because each of them had shown a commitment to justice, public service, and the people of Arizona. Each had also demonstrated the judicial temperament and the professional demeanor necessary to serve with integrity.”
Sen. McCain on Senate rules on filibusters of nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 01/23/15
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said it would be “sheer hypocrisy” for Republicans not to revert to the old filibuster rules, given how forcefully they complained about the Democrats’ actions. If his view holds sway, all nominees for posts from low-level bureaucrat to Supreme Court chief justice would face a 60-vote threshold. “We said this was outrageous what they did,” McCain said. “Not only how they did it, but what they did, OK? Some of my Republican colleagues seem to have forgotten that. Some selective amnesia.”
Sen. McCain on Filibuster Rule Change for Nominations
(Republican - Arizona) 12/09/14
The GOP was outraged last year after Reid and Democrats used a procedural move known as the “nuclear option” to unilaterally change the Senate’s rules to deprive the minority from being able to block most of President Obama’s nominations. “I think it’s rank hypocrisy if we don’t,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said when asked about reversing the rule change. “If we don’t, then disregard every bit of complaint that we made, not only after they did it but also during the campaign,” he added. “I’m stunned that some people want to keep it.” “Do we believe that Republicans will hold the majority in Congress forever? If it poisoned the well as much as it did, how could we possibly be in favor of sustaining it?” McCain said.
Sen. McCain on Filibuster Rule and Nominations
(Republican - Arizona) 09/28/14
“I will work very hard to go back to 60 votes,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who boldly predicts a Republican Senate would process Obama’s nominees “more rapidly than [Democrats] do today.”
Sen. McCain Floor Statement on Historic Vote on Diane Humetewa district court nomination
(Republican - Arizona) 05/14/14
"I would like to mention to my colleagues that with this vote we will be making history in some respects. We should all be proud that this nominee, Diane Humetewa of the Hopi Tribe, will be the first Native-American woman to be on the Federal bench. I would appreciate a positive vote. It is a proud moment for her, her tribe, and for Native Americans."
Sen. Flake Floor Statement for Arizona district court nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 05/14/14
"I thank the senior Senator from Arizona Mr. McCain for the work he has done to bring this panel forward with six judges to be confirmed this week. That is a big deal, a big deal for any State, and for a State such as Arizona that has had such a shortage for so long, this is particularly important.... what a thrill it was to be on the Judiciary Committee and have all six of these prospective judges come with their families and talk about their experience and how it would relate to their new role if they were to be confirmed. It was great to be there to see Diane Humetewa and family and note that on the reservation there were many other family members watching that hearing being streamed and being proud that the first female Native American would be on the Federal bench. ... It was a pleasure working with Senator McCain and with the White House and the President in bringing these nominations forward. I urge my colleagues to vote both for cloture and for final confirmation of these three judges today and hopefully the other three tomorrow or later. I appreciate the President making these nominations. Arizona has waited a long time to fill these judgeships and we are pleased to do so this week."
SEN. McCAIN ON ARIZONA JUDICIAL NOMINEES
(Republican - Arizona) 05/14/14
"“The federal district court in Arizona has been under tremendous strain these past few years, and the confirmation of these six judges will be a great relief to an overburdened court, one which is consistently ranked as one of the top ten busiest in the country. Of the 13 authorized judgeships for this court, 6 are currently vacant. This, together with the large caseload, led the District of Arizona to be declared a ‘judicial emergency’ in 2011. This has created an untenable situation for the court in Arizona, and the confirmation of these nominees is critical to ensure that the administration of justice is timely and fair for the people of Arizona. “The slate of nominees before the Senate is the product of consensus, cooperation, and careful deliberation, selected with the help of a non-partisan judiciary evaluation commission. They saw overwhelming support in the Judiciary Committee ... “Diane Humetewa has an impressive legal background, ranging from work as prosecutor and an appellate court judge to the Hopi Nation to service as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Plus, hers is a truly historic nomination. If confirmed, she would be the first Native American woman to ever serve on the federal bench."
WHY WON’T REPUBLICAN SENATE LEADERS ALLOW FLOOR VOTES ON 24 PENDING JUDICIAL NOMINEES ALL GOP HOME-STATE SENATORS SUPPORT?
(Republican - Maine, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, Kansas, Wisconsin) 04/04/14
17 Republican U.S. Senators from 12 states support 24 pending district and appeals court nominees & re-nominees (originally nominated last year) who would fill vacancies in their states
STATEMENT BY SEN. McCAIN ON JUDICIAL NOMINEES
(Republican - Arizona) 02/27/14
“I am gratified by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s overwhelming support for the diverse and historic slate of nominees for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. With the Committee’s action today, Arizona is one big step closer to having the emergency vacancies on that court filled with well-qualified judges. These nominees are the product of cooperation, consensus and careful deliberation, supported by the views a non-partisan judiciary evaluation commission. I look forward to their timely consideration and confirmation by the full Senate.”
STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON ARIZONA DISTRICT COURT NOMINEES
(Republican - Arizona) 01/28/14
"“Today is a great day for Arizona. You will be hearing today from six nominees to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. As this Committee knows, this is a court that has been under great strain recently. While it has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten busiest courts in the country, it has been strained by a series of recent vacancies. Of the 13 authorized judgeships in this court, six are currently vacant. For that reason, the District of Arizona has been declared a ‘judicial emergency.’... I am particularly excited about our third nominee, Diane J. Humetewa, also to the District of Arizona, in Phoenix. Ms. Humetewa’s nomination is truly historic: Being a member of the Hopi Nation, if Ms. Humetewa is confirmed, she would be the first Native American woman to ever serve on the federal bench. ... I commend them to you for your consideration and encourage their swift confirmation by the full Senate."
Sen, Flake & Senate Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony On Arizona Nominees
(Republican - Arizona) 01/28/14
In Tuesday's hearing, Flake acknowledged the urgency of filling the vacancies. "I can tell you talking to those serving on the bench in Arizona right now, they are happy to see the caseload cut in half as we go," said Flake. "It's better this year than last, but boy you are sure going to help."
Sen. Flake on Home-State Senator Blue Slips for Nominees to fill six Arizona Emergency Federal Judicial Vacancies
(Republican - Arizona) 12/19/13
"Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told The Arizona Republic last week that he was holding on to his “blue slips” for the previous nominees until the White House followed through with one more promised name. The blue slips are a traditional way for home-state senators to weigh in on nominations that affect their constituents. Flake’s office confirmed Thursday that Soto’s was the nomination Flake was awaiting."
STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON NOMINATIONS TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
(Republican - Arizona) 09/19/13
[O]n the President’s nomination today of four Arizonans – Magistrate Judge Steven Paul Logan of Phoenix, Ms. Diane Joyce Humetewa of Phoenix, Mr. John Joseph Tuchi of Phoenix, and Judge Douglas Rayes of Scottsdale – to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. These nominees join Rosemary Marquez of Tucson for Senate consideration. The six current vacancies in the Arizona District Court account for nearly 9 percent of the nation’s vacant district court judgeships. “The nominees to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona have demonstrated devotion to public service and commitment to justice, and I believe they are uniquely qualified to address the legal issues facing our state. The recent judicial vacancies in Arizona have created an unsustainable situation for the Court and are a serious impediment to the administration of justice for the people of Arizona. The need to fill these vacancies is critical as the District of Arizona ranks as one of the top ten busiest district courts in the country. I urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider these five very capable nominees as soon as possible and allow the full Senate to swiftly confirm them as the district court judges for the District of Arizona.”