EXECUTIVE SESSION
(Senate - June 17, 2004)

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[Pages S6941-S6942]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           EXECUTIVE SESSION

                                 ______
                                 

 NOMINATION OF JAMES L. ROBART TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR 
                   THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will now go into executive session 
to consider nominations.
  The clerk will report the first nomination.
  The legislative clerk read the nomination of James L. Robart, of 
Washington, to be United States District Judge for the Western District 
of Washington.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, could I inquire of the Presiding Officer, 
are these three votes 10 minutes each?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  There is 4 minutes of debate equally divided.
  Who yields time?
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, this afternoon it is my privilege to 
introduce you to the incredibly talented nominee for a vacancy on the 
District Court for the Western District of Washington, James Robart.
  In one sense, today's confirmation vote is a homecoming for Mr. 
Robart. Early in his career, he served as an aide to Senator Scoop 
Jackson. I am sure that he would be proud of his accomplishments during 
a long and productive legal career, and would whole-heartedly endorse 
his confirmation.
  Following his public service as a staff member in both Houses, Mr. 
Robart returned to Washington State, where he has worked as an attorney 
for the past three decades. During his considerable years of practice 
in Federal court, he has earned a reputation for fairness and 
integrity.
  Mr. Robart's nomination is the result of a bipartisan selection 
process that has worked very well for Washington State. Members of 
Washington State's legal community, the White House, and my colleague 
Senator Patty Murray and I worked together to review a group of 
applicants. This cooperative approach has produced a number of highly 
qualified judicial nominees, and

[[Page S6942]]

I believe it is a sound model for other States.
  I am confident that James Robart will make an outstanding Federal 
judge, and that the people of the Western District of Washington will 
be well-served by his presence on the bench.
  I am pleased to offer Mr. Robart my full support, and I urge my 
colleagues to approve his nomination.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, today the Senate considers the nomination 
of James Robart, to be a United States District Judge for the Western 
District of Washington. He is a graduate of Whitman College and the 
Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Robart is currently managing 
partner at the law firm of Lane Powell Spears Lubersky, LLP, a firm he 
has worked at for over 30 years. He has handled complex commercial 
litigation matters including class actions, securities, and employment 
cases, and has also been involved in counseling clients in the areas of 
antitrust compliance, employment law, and intellectual property.
  Mr. Robart's nomination is the product of a bipartisan judicial 
nominating commission maintained with the White House by Senators 
Murray and Cantwell. The State of Washington is well-served by its 
bipartisan judicial nominating commission which recommends qualified, 
moderate nominees on whom members of both parties can agree. It is 
difficult to understand why President Bush has opposed similar 
bipartisan selections commissions and why this one was so hard to 
establish. They allow Republicans and Democrats to work together to 
staff an independent judiciary. I thank Senators Murray and Cantwell 
for their steadfast efforts in maintaining the commission. The Senate 
just recently confirmed another well-qualified nominee to the District 
Court for the Western District of Washington, Judge Martinez, and, with 
today's vote, the Senate will have confirmed four nominees--all the 
product of the bipartisan commission--to the district courts in 
Washington. With this confirmation, there will be no further vacancies 
in the district courts in Washington.
  I would note that, in proceeding to a vote on Mr. Robart, the 
Republican leadership has again decided to depart from the order of the 
Executive Calendar and to skip over the nomination of a non-
controversial and well-qualified Hispanic nominee to the U.S. District 
Court for the Eastern District in Pennsylvania, Juan Ramon Sanchez. 
That is their choice. I do not want to see the Democrats blamed for any 
delay in confirmation votes for Hispanics when Republicans have 
controlled the agenda.
  With this confirmation we will have confirmed more judges this year 
than in all of the 1996 session, the last time a President was seeking 
reelection.
  With this confirmation and two more today, the Senate will have 
confirmed a total of 89 judges this Congress and 189 of this 
President's judicial nominees overall. With 89 judicial confirmations 
in just a little more than 17 months, the Senate has confirmed more 
Federal judges than were confirmed during the two full years of 1995 
and 1996, when Republicans first controlled the Senate and President 
Clinton was in the White House. It also exceeds the 2-year total at the 
end of the Clinton administration, when Republicans held the Senate 
majority in 1999 and 2000.
  With 189 total confirmations for President Bush, the Senate has 
confirmed more lifetime appointees for this President than were allowed 
to be confirmed in President Clinton's entire second term, the most 
recent four-year presidential term and more than were confirmed in 
President Reagan's term from 1981 through 1984. Of course President 
Reagan is acknowledged as the all-time champ for having appointed more 
federal judges than any other President in history.
  I congratulate Mr. Robart and his family on his confirmation.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I am pleased today to speak in support of 
James Robart, who has been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the 
Western District of Washington.
  Mr. Robart has exceptional qualifications for the Federal bench. 
After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1973 where he 
was the administrative editor of the Georgetown University Law Review, 
he joined the law firm of Lane, Powell, Moss & Miller, which is now 
known as Lane Powell Spears Lubersky LLP.
  Mr. Robart became a partner in that firm in 1980, and subsequently 
became the comanaging partner and later the sole managing partner--a 
position that he holds today. During his time at the firm, Mr. Robart 
has specialized in complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on 
class actions, securities, and employment law.
  He brings a wealth of trial experience to the Federal bench after 
trying in excess of 50 cases to verdict or judgment as sole or lead 
counsel, and he has been active in the representation of the 
disadvantaged through his work with Evergreen Legal Services and the 
independent representation of Southeast Asian refugees.
  Mr. Robart's impressive credentials are reflected in his unanimous 
American Bar Association rating of Well Qualified. I am confident that 
he will be a fine addition to the bench and urge my colleagues to join 
me in supporting his confirmation.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, this side is willing to yield all remaining 
time on all three judges.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the 
confirmation of the nomination of James L. Robart, of Washington, to be 
United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington?
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry) 
is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 99, nays 0, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 126 Ex.]

                                YEAS--99

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burns
     Byrd
     Campbell
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Chambliss
     Clinton
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Corzine
     Craig
     Crapo
     Daschle
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dole
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Edwards
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Fitzgerald
     Frist
     Graham (FL)
     Graham (SC)
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hollings
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Mikulski
     Miller
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Nickles
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Santorum
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Kerry
       
  The nomination was confirmed.

                          ____________________