WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered an opening statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Nicole G. Berner, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit; Adeel Abdullah Mangi, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit; Amy M. Baggio, to be United States District Judge for the District of Oregon; Cristal C. Brisco, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana; and Gretchen S. Lund, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana.

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Key Quotes:

“Today is the 14th nominations hearing of this year. Including nominations hearings, we have held 35 full committee hearings and 22 markups. I want to thank Ranking Member Graham for his partnership, as well as all Members of this Committee. We’ve been busy this year—one of the busiest Committees in the Senate.”

“I would like to begin by noting that the circuit court nominees on today’s first panel would be ‘firsts’ on the bench: Ms. Berner would be the first LGBTQ American to serve on the Fourth Circuit, and Mr. Mangi would be the first Muslim American to ever serve as a judge on a federal appellate court.”

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“It is important to recognize these historic milestones, as well as the accomplishments and professional experience of all of today’s nominees. I expect these exemplary qualifications will be the focus of today’s hearing.”

“Second, each of today’s judicial nominees has received blue slips from both of their home state Senators. This includes Judges Brisco and Lund, who have received blue slips from Senator Young and Senator Braun of Indiana. I thank them and the White House for working together in good faith to fill these—and many other—vacancies in their state.”

“We have seen similar progress in other states—in fact, this is the third nominations hearing in a row with at least one nominee who has blue slips from their Republican home state Senators. I look forward to seeing more of the same in the new year.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Today’s hearing continues the Committee’s work filling judicial and executive vacancies with highly qualified, diverse candidates who help ensure the fair and impartial administration of the American justice system. Under the leadership of Chair Durbin, the Senate has confirmed 162 judges to lifetime appointments on the federal bench during the Biden Administration. Eighteen lifetime judges – including two circuit court nominees and fourteen district court nominees – are eligible for a vote on the Senate floor.

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