(Senate - June 06, 2008)

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[Pages S5353-S5354]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                        TRIBUTE TO CINDY HAYDEN

  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I rise today to bid farewell to my chief 
counsel on the Judiciary Committee, Cindy Hayden, who is with me today. 
We all depend so much on our staff. They give of themselves, they give 
of their time, they are committed to their beliefs, and serve America, 
and we are never able to say thank you to all of them, but on special 
occasions, I think it is important to do so. In saying my thanks to 
her, I am saying thanks to all my staff, and to all the staff of the 
Senate, who serve us so well, often without ever receiving credit.
  I am pleased for her because she will be starting a new chapter in 
her professional life, though her departure will be a tremendous loss 
to my staff and the Senate at large. I am glad she will be in DC, 
working close by, so we can call on her when we need her help.
  Cindy Hayden is an exceptional person. I feel a great loss at her 
departure. Each day that we have worked together, she has shown an 
unwavering dedication to our shared values, to her State, and to her 
Nation. Her passion for the law is unmatched, and her commitment to the 
rule of law is unwavering. I trust her judgment, her political 
instincts, and her values. I have relied on her to manage my Judiciary 
staff and the multitude of important issues that committee handles. 
With so many issues arising on a daily basis, it is sometimes not 
possible for me to personally be aware of them all. In everything from 
judicial nominations, immigration, and any number of constitutional 
issues, Cindy has exhibited an intellectual capacity, a tenacity to 
principle, a strong work ethic, and a professional integrity that is 
above reproach.
  Before joining my staff, she had a distinguished academic career at 
my undergraduate school, Huntington College, and the University of 
Alabama School of Law. At Huntington, Cindy had an outstanding record 
of academic excellence, receiving degrees in both chemistry and 
political science. I think chemistry is pretty impressive and would 
certainly get your attention when you looked at a resume. She then went 
to law school at the University of Alabama, where she graduated cum 
laude and served as managing editor of the Journal of Legal Profession 
and was a member of the moot court board. While in law school, she 
clerked in the office of the Alabama Attorney General under my 
successor, now Eleventh Circuit Judge Bill Pryor, a brilliant legal 
mind himself.
  Immediately after taking the bar, Cindy started working as counsel on 
my staff, and for the past 6 years worked her way up to chief counsel. 
Her work on the Senate Judiciary Committee has been extraordinary, and 
I believe the committee is a better place for her service. The 
committee takes on an enormous number and wide variety of complex and 
sometimes controversial issues. It is one of the most demanding 
committees in the Senate. To be successful as an attorney on that 
committee you must not only be hard working and intelligent and someone 
who works very long hours, but you must also be a strong negotiator, 
able to frame arguments in a passionate, respectful, and intellectually 
honest way. She has done all that with seemingly effortless skill.
  I would note that the Judiciary Committee has attracted, and has 
right now, a host of superior attorneys who serve all of us. They are 
an excellent team, indeed. I would be remiss not to mention her stellar 
work on immigration. Since she arrived in my office, Cindy has worked 
tirelessly to protect the rule of law in this country, and as it turned 
out, she found herself at the center of a national debate on how to fix 
the broken immigration system in our country. Those of you who have 
worked on either side of the issue have certainly had to deal with 
Cindy and her relentless advocacy as she became the go-to person on 
immigration, providing a wealth of information and knowledge for all 
  Indeed, her ``alerts'' that were sent out--always meticulously 
accurate--were picked up routinely all over the country by media 
outlets as accurate depictions of developments, as they were occurring 
so rapidly during that intense debate. So whether you were for her or 
against her in principle, everyone can certainly agree she handled 
herself with dignity, courage, tenacity, and capability during that 
  Evidence of her dedication and influence on the committee and its 
staff can be seen by what some of her colleagues have had to say about 
her. And this is a good team, indeed. Ed Haden, my former chief 
counsel, who hired her, said:

       Cindy immediately made a difference when she started on the 
     committee. Her intelligence, work ethic, initiative, and 
     willingness to stand up and defend her position made her a 
     great asset. Her unflinching integrity and solid core values 
     made her a success as a lawyer and as a friend.

  And I would add that she was raised right. She has great values, as a 
product of Cullman, AL. She grew up in the heart of Alabama and was 
raised in an outstanding way.
  William Smith, my former chief counsel and current executive director 
of the Americans for Limited Government Research Foundation, said the 

       I have met and worked with a number of great lawyers. Cindy 
     Hayden is in a category more select than great. She is one of 
     the few superior lawyers I have met. I was privileged to 
     serve with her on the Judiciary Committee and I count her a 
     true confidant. Our motto in the office was, ``we work from 
     sun to sun; our work is never done.'' Cindy has lived up to 
     and surpassed that calling. On top of this, she is a great 
     American. The only group I know that will truly celebrate her 
     departure will be illegal aliens.

  That is what William Smith said. Brian Darling, director of Senate 
Relations for the Heritage Foundation said this:

       Cindy has been a hero to conservatives nationwide who 
     believe in the rule of law.

[[Page S5354]]

     Without Cindy and ``Team Sessions''' tireless efforts to 
     educate the American public on the contents of the secretly 
     drafted amnesty bill, the bill may have become law.

  Wendy Fleming, General Counsel for the Senate Steering Committee 

       Cindy Hayden is a great American, a smart lawyer, and a 
     wonderful friend. During her time on the Judiciary Committee, 
     Cindy has displayed unwavering devotion to Senator Sessions, 
     the people of Alabama, and her conservative principles. I am 
     honored to have had the opportunity to work with Cindy.

  Brooke Bacak, former Counsel for me and current Chief Counsel for 
Senator Coburn says:

       I have had the privilege of knowing Cindy for 10 years. 
     Having first met in College Republicans, I learned about her 
     conservative convictions very early in our friendship. Cindy 
     has proven to be a true patriot, and I am grateful for the 
     role that she has played in the U.S. Senate. But beyond our 
     political and professional association, Cindy has become a 
     true friend. She and her husband, Matt, are two of the most 
     generous people I know. From birthdays to illnesses, the 
     Haydens always make time to be with their friends. Their 
     kindness has made a difference to me and many others. I wish 
     Cindy the very best in her new job and hope she knows how 
     much she will be missed.

  Joe Matal, Counsel for Senator Kyl says:

       If you look closely at the corpse of last year's 
     immigration bill, you will find a series of small squares 
     holes in its back. Those holes were produced by Cindy's 
     heels, stomping that bill to death.

  Rita Lari Jochum, Chief Counsel for Senator Grassley, says:

       Cindy Hayden has served Senator Sessions, Alabama and our 
     country extremely well. A committed advocate for conservative 
     principles, Cindy has been tenacious in her drive to do what 
     is right. We all are going to miss a great friend and skilled 

  Lauren Petron, Chief Counsel for Senator Brownback, says:

       Cindy is a principled conservative, a tireless advocate, a 
     talented lawyer, a trusted colleague, and a dear friend. She 
     is truly a person who lives out her values and beliefs. I 
     feel privileged to have worked with her on the Judiciary 
     Committee, and I am certain that she will be a great success 
     in all her future endeavors.

  John Abegg, Counsel for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

       Cindy continued a long line of outstanding chief counsels 
     for Senator Sessions. She is smart, principled, and tough, 
     but has a kind heart as well. She worked tirelessly to serve 
     Senator Sessions' Alabama constituents and the people of the 
     United States, and she did so with distinction.

  Alan Hanson, my Legislative Director says:

       Cindy is a serious and accomplished professional with a big 
     heart and disarming wit. While I will miss being her 
     colleague in the Senate, I know Cindy will do well in all her 
     endeavors and wish her the best.

  Ajit Pai, Deputy General Counsel for the FCC says:

       Staffers on both sides of the aisle would agree that Cindy 
     Hayden brings to the table a welcome combination of 
     intelligence, dedication, and likeability. It was my 
     privilege to have worked with her on Senator Sessions' staff, 
     and it will always be my privilege to call her a friend.

  Bradley Hayes, my Senior Counsel says:

       I have had the honor to work with both talented 
     professionals and close, personal friends. In Cindy Hayden, 
     I've had the rare privilege to work with an individual who 
     encompasses both. I have had the pleasure to work with Cindy 
     since the day I started in the Senate almost three years ago. 
     On a daily basis, I have been able to battle liberals with a 
     person whom I not only respect and admire, but someone whose 
     friendship I will value long after her departure. From her 
     first day in the Senate, Cindy has worked tirelessly to 
     promote conservative principles and has been a tremendous 
     asset for both Senator Sessions and the U.S. Senate. The 
     State of Alabama and the nation as a whole are better because 
     of her selfless work these past six years. Though she leaves 
     us to carry on the fight, the lessons she has taught me, and 
     others who have worked with her, will ensure that Cindy's 
     legacy of fidelity to the rule of law and conservative 
     principles will continue for years to come.

  These are just some of the statements from the staffers whom Cindy 
has worked with that reflect their respect for her.
  I will just conclude personally by saying I never had a staffer to be 
more involved than Cindy in as sustained and intense a period of debate 
as we find ourselves in on the immigration debate. It was a constant 
every day struggle, and things were always rapidly changing.
  We believe the bill on the floor, though it had a lot of support and 
many good things in it, was not the right approach to solving our 
illegal immigration problems in America. We decided someone had to be 
active in that and raise those issues. Cindy was just fabulous, and I 
depended on her. Day after day, her work and the respect she engendered 
throughout the country played a big role in the final result, in which 
the bill was pulled down without passage in that form.
  Mr. President, I appreciate the opportunity to share these words. As 
I speak about her, again I want to note I share my thoughts and these 
comments about so many of our staffers who serve America in the Senate.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. LINCOLN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so