EXECUTIVE SESSION
(Senate - June 26, 2012)

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[Pages S4606-S4610]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           EXECUTIVE SESSION

                                 ______
                                 

NOMINATION OF ROBIN S. ROSENBAUM TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR 
                    THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination which 
the clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read the nomination of Robin S. Rosenbaum, of Florida, 
to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of 
Florida.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until noon 
will be equally divided in the usual form.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Republican efforts to shutdown Senate 
confirmations of qualified judicial nominees who have bipartisan 
support do not help the American people. This is a shortsighted policy 
at a time when the judicial vacancy rate remains almost twice what it 
was at this point in the first term of President Bush. Judicial 
vacancies during the last few years have been at historically high 
levels. Nearly one out of every 11 Federal judgeships is currently 
vacant. Their talk of shutting down confirmations for consensus and 
qualified circuit court nominees is not helping the overburdened 
Federal courts to which Americans turn for justice.

[[Page S4607]]

  In a letter dated June 20, 2012, the president of the American Bar 
Association urged Senator Reid and Senator McConnell to work together 
to schedule votes on the nominations of William Kayatta, Judge Robert 
Bacharach and Richard Taranto, three consensus, qualified circuit court 
nominees awaiting Senate confirmation so that they may serve the 
American people. I ask unanimous consent that a copy of his letter be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                     American Bar Association,

                                       Chicago, IL, June 20, 2012.
     Hon. Harry Reid,
     Majority Leader, U.S. Senate, Hart Senate Office Building, 
         Washington, DC.
     Hon. Mitch McConnell,
     Republican Leader, U.S. Senate, Russell Senate Office 
         Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell:  
     Amid concerns that the judicial confirmation process is about 
     to fall victim to presidential election year politics through 
     the invocation of the ``Thurmond Rule,'' I am writing on 
     behalf of the American Bar Association to reiterate our grave 
     concern for the longstanding number of judicial vacancies on 
     Article III courts and to urge you to schedule floor votes on 
     three pending, noncontroversial circuit court nominees before 
     July and on district court nominees who have strong 
     bipartisan support on a weekly basis thereafter.
       Three of the four circuit court nominees pending on the 
     Senate floor are consensus nominees who have received 
     overwhelming approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
     Both William Kayatta, Jr. of Maine, nominated to the First 
     Circuit, and Robert Bacharach of Oklahoma, nominated to the 
     Tenth Circuit, have the staunch support of their Republican 
     senators. Richard Taranto, nominated to the Federal Circuit, 
     enjoys strong bipartisan support, including the endorsement 
     of noted conservative legal scholars. All three nominees also 
     have stellar professional qualifications and each has been 
     rated unanimously ``well-qualified'' by the ABA's Standing 
     Committee on the Federal Judiciary.
       As you know, the ``Thurmond Rule'' is neither a rule nor a 
     clearly defined event. While the ABA takes no position on 
     what invocation of the ``Thurmond Rule'' actually means or 
     whether it represents wise policy, recent news stories have 
     cast it as a precedent under which the Senate, after a 
     specified date in a presidential election year, ceases to 
     vote on nominees to the federal circuit courts of appeals. We 
     note that there has been no consistently observed date at 
     which this has occurred during the presidential election 
     years from 1980 to 2008. With regard to the past three 
     election years, the last circuit court nominees were 
     confirmed in June during 2004 and 2008 and in July during 
     2000. In deference to these historical cut-off dates and 
     because of our conviction that the Senate has a continuing 
     constitutional duty to act with due diligence to reduce the 
     dangerously high vacancy rate that is adversely affecting our 
     federal judiciary, we exhort you to schedule votes on these 
     three outstanding circuit court nominees this month.
       We also urge you to continue to work together to move 
     consensus district court nominees to the floor for a vote 
     throughout the rest of the session, lest the vacancy crisis 
     worsens in the waning months of the 112th Congress. With five 
     new vacancies arising this month and an additional five 
     announced for next month, this is not just a possibility; it 
     is a certainty, absent your continued commitment to the 
     federal judiciary and steady action on nominees.
       Thank you for your past efforts and for your consideration 
     of our views on this important issue.
           Sincerely,
                                       Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III,
                                                        President.

  Mr. LEAHY. He writes:

       Amid concerns that the judicial confirmation process is 
     about to fall victim to presidential election year politics 
     through the invocation of the ``Thurmond Rule,'' I am writing 
     on behalf of the American Bar Association to reiterate our 
     grave concern for the longstanding number of judicial 
     vacancies on Article III courts and to urge you to schedule 
     floor votes on three pending, noncontroversial circuit court 
     nominees before July and on district court nominees who have 
     strong bipartisan support on a weekly basis thereafter.

  He observes that ``the Senate has a continuing constitutional duty to 
act with due diligence to reduce the dangerously high vacancy rate that 
is adversely affecting our federal judiciary.''
  There is no good reason that the Senate should not vote on consensus 
circuit court nominees thoroughly vetted, considered and voted on by 
the Judiciary Committee. There is no reason the Senate cannot vote on 
the nomination of William Kayatta of Maine to the First Circuit, a 
nominee strongly supported by both of Maine's Republican Senators and 
reported nearly unanimously by the Committee 2 months ago. This is the 
same person who Chief Justice John Roberts recommended to Kenneth Starr 
for a position in the Justice Department.
  There is no reason the Senate cannot vote on the nomination of Judge 
Robert Bacharach of Oklahoma to the Tenth Circuit, who was supported by 
Senator Coburn during Committee consideration, and also by the State's 
other Republican Senator, Senator Inhofe. Senator Coburn said that 
Judge Bacharach would make a great nominee for a Republican president. 
So why is the Republican leadership playing politics with his 
nomination?
  There is also no reason the Senate cannot vote on Richard Taranto's 
nomination to the Federal Circuit. He was reported almost unanimously 
by voice vote nearly 3 months ago, and is supported by conservatives 
such as Robert Bork and Paul Clement.
  And the one circuit court nominee who was reported out of Committee 
with a split rollcall vote--Judge Patty Shwartz of New Jersey--should 
not have been controversial, as seen by the bipartisan support she has 
received from New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie.
  Each of these circuit court nominees has been rated unanimously well 
qualified by the nonpartisan ABA Standing Committee on the Federal 
judiciary, the highest possible rating. These are not controversial 
nominees. They are qualified and should be considered as consensus 
nominees and confirmed. Senate Republicans are blocking consent to vote 
on superbly qualified circuit court nominees with strong bipartisan 
support. This is a new and damaging application of the Thurmond Rule.
  It is hard to see how this new application of the Thurmond Rule is 
really anything more than another name for the stalling tactics we have 
seen for months and years. I have yet to hear any good reason why we 
should not continue to vote on well-qualified, consensus nominees, just 
as we did up until September of the last two Presidential election 
years. I have yet to hear a good explanation why we cannot work to 
solve the problem of high vacancies for the American people. I will 
continue to work with the Senate leadership to try to confirm as many 
of President Obama's qualified judicial nominees as possible to fill 
the many judicial vacancies that burden our courts and the American 
people across the country.
  Last week, I spoke about the announcement from Senate Republican 
leadership that they would be shutting down the confirmation process 
for qualified and consensus circuit court nominees for the rest of the 
year. As I noted, Senate Republicans have become the party of ``no''--
no help for the American people, no to jobs, no to economic recovery 
and no to judges to provide Americans with justice in their Federal 
courts. Although the public announcement that they would be blocking 
qualified and consensus circuit court nominees is recent, the truth is 
that Senate Republicans have been obstructing President Obama's 
judicial nominees since the beginning of his Presidency, beginning with 
their filibuster of his first nominee.
  Senate Republicans used to insist that filibustering of judicial 
nominations was unconstitutional. The Constitution has not changed but 
as soon as President Obama was elected, they reversed course and 
filibustered President Obama's very first judicial nomination. Judge 
David Hamilton of Indiana was a widely respected 15-year veteran of the 
Federal bench nominated to the Seventh Circuit and was supported by 
Senator Dick Lugar, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. They 
delayed his confirmation for 5 months. Senate Republicans then 
proceeded to obstruct and delay just about every circuit court nominee 
of this President, filibustering nine of them. They delayed 
confirmation of Judge Albert Diaz of North Carolina to the Fourth 
Circuit for 11 months. They delayed confirmation of Judge Jane Stranch 
of Tennessee to the Sixth Circuit for 10 months. They delayed 
confirmation of Judge Ray Lohier of New York to the Second Circuit for 
7 months. They delayed confirmation of Judge Scott Matheson of Utah to 
the Tenth Circuit and Judge James Wynn, Jr. of North Carolina to the 
Fourth Circuit for 6 months. They delayed confirmation of Judge Andre 
Davis of Maryland to the Fourth Circuit, Judge Henry Floyd of

[[Page S4608]]

South Carolina to the Fourth Circuit, Judge Stephanie Thacker of West 
Virginia to the Fourth Circuit, and Judge Jacqueline Nguyen of 
California to the Ninth Circuit for 5 months. They delayed confirmation 
of Judge Adalberto Jordan of Florida to the Eleventh Circuit, Judge 
Beverly Martin of Georgia to the Eleventh Circuit, Judge Mary Murguia 
of Arizona to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Bernice Donald of Tennessee to 
the Sixth Circuit, Judge Barbara Keenan of Virginia to the Fourth 
Circuit, Judge Thomas Vanaskie of Pennsylvania to the Third Circuit, 
Judge Joseph Greenaway of New Jersey to the Third Circuit, Judge Denny 
Chin of New York to the Second Circuit, and Judge Chris Droney of 
Connecticut to the Second Circuit for 4 months. They delayed 
confirmation of Judge Paul Watford of California to the Ninth Circuit, 
Judge Andrew Hurwitz of Arizona to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Morgan 
Christen of Alaska to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Stephen Higginson of 
Louisiana to the Fifth Circuit, Judge Gerard Lynch of New York to the 
Second Circuit, Judge Susan Carney of Connecticut to the Second 
Circuit, and Judge Kathleen O'Malley of Ohio to the Federal Circuit for 
3 months.
  As a recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research 
Service confirms, the median time circuit nominees have had to wait 
before a Senate vote has skyrocketed from 18 days for President Bush's 
nominees to 132 days for President Obama's circuit court nominees. This 
is the result of Republican foot dragging and obstruction. In most 
cases, Senate Republicans have been delaying and stalling for no good 
reason. How else do you explain the filibuster of the nomination of 
Judge Barbara Keenan of Virginia to the Fourth Circuit who was 
ultimately confirmed 99-0? And how else do you explain the needless 
obstruction of Judge Denny Chin of New York to the Second Circuit, who 
was filibustered for 4 months before he was confirmed 98-0?
  The only change in their practices is that Senate Republicans have 
finally acknowledged that they are seeking to shut down the 
confirmation process for qualified and consensus circuit court 
nominees. Three of the five circuit court judges finally confirmed this 
year after months of unnecessary delays and a filibuster should have 
been confirmed last year. The other two circuit court nominees 
confirmed this year were both subjected to stalling and partisan 
filibusters, which were thankfully unsuccessful.
  The American people need to understand that Senate Republicans are 
stalling and filibustering judicial nominees supported by their home 
State Republican Senators. Just consider the states I have already 
mentioned as having circuit nominees supported by their home State 
Republican Senators unnecessarily stalled--Indiana, North Carolina, 
Utah, South Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona. Just 2 weeks ago we needed 
to overcome a filibuster to confirm Justice Andrew Hurwitz of the 
Arizona Supreme Court to the Ninth Circuit despite the strong support 
of Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain.
  This year started with the Majority Leader having to file cloture to 
get an up-or-down vote on Judge Adalberto Jordan of Florida to the 
Eleventh Circuit even though he was strongly supported by his 
Republican home State Senator. And every single one of these circuit 
nominees for whom the Majority Leader was forced to file cloture this 
year was rated unanimously well qualified by the nonpartisan ABA 
Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, the highest possible 
rating. And every one of them was nominated to fill a judicial 
emergency vacancy. So when I hear some Senate Republicans say they are 
now invoking the Thurmond Rule and have decided they are not going to 
allow President Obama's judicial nominees to be considered, I wonder 
how the American people are supposed to be able to tell the difference 
from how they have been obstructing for the last 3\1/2\ years.

  Personal attacks on me, taking quotes out of context, trying to 
repackage their own actions as if following the Thurmond Rule or what 
they seek to dub the Leahy rule do nothing to help the American people 
who are seeking justice in our Federal courts. I am willing to defend 
my record but that is beside the point. The harm to the American people 
is what matters. Republicans are insisting on being the party of no 
even when it comes to judicial nominees who home State Republican 
Senators support.
  As Chairman and when I served as the ranking member of the Judiciary 
Committee, I have worked with Senate Republicans to consider judicial 
nominees well into Presidential election years. I have taken steps to 
make the confirmation process more transparent and fair. I have ensured 
that the President consults with home State Senators before submitting 
a nominee. I have opened up what had been a secretive blue slip process 
to prevent abuses. All the while I have protected the rights of the 
minority, of Republican Senators. If Republicans want to talk about the 
Leahy rules, those are the practices I have followed. And I have been 
consistent. I hold hearings at the same pace and under the same 
procedures whether the President nominating is a Democrat or a 
Republican. Others cannot say that.
  And what were the results? In the last two Presidential election 
years, we were able to bring the number of judicial vacancies down to 
the lowest levels in the past 20 years. In 2004, at end of President 
Bush's first term, vacancies were reduced to 28, not the 74 at which 
they are today. In 2008, in the last year of President Bush's second 
term, we again worked to fill vacancies and got them down to 34, less 
than half of what they are today. In 2004, 25 nominees were confirmed 
from June 1 to the Presidential election. In 2008, 22 nominees were 
confirmed between June 1 and the Presidential election. So far, since 
June 1 of this year, only 4 judges have been confirmed and all required 
the majority leader to file cloture to end Republican filibusters.
  In 2004, a Presidential election year, the Senate confirmed five 
circuit court nominees of a Republican President that had been reported 
by the committee that year. We have confirmed only two circuit court 
nominees that have been reported by the committee this year, and we had 
to overcome Republican filibusters in both cases. By this date in 2004 
the Senate had already confirmed 35 of President Bush's circuit court 
nominees. So far, the Senate has only been allowed to consider and 
confirm 30 of President Obama's circuit court nominees--five fewer, 17 
percent fewer--while higher numbers of vacancies remain, and yet the 
Senate Republican leadership demands an artificial shutdown on 
confirmation of qualified, consensus nominees for no good reason.
  The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently released a 
report confirming that judicial nominees continue to be confirmed in 
the Presidential election years. The exceptions are when Republicans 
shut down the process because the President is a Democrat. In five of 
the last eight Presidential election years, the Senate has confirmed at 
least 22 circuit and district court nominees after May 31. The notable 
exceptions were during the last years of President Clinton's two terms 
in 1996 and 2000 when Senate Republicans would not allow confirmations 
to continue. In the 1996 session, Senate Republicans did not allow any 
circuit court nominees to be confirmed at all. Vacancies at the end of 
the Clinton years stood at 75 at the end of 1996 and 67 at the end of 
2000. The third exception was in 1988, at the end of President Reagan's 
Presidency, when vacancies were at 28. According to CRS, the Senate 
confirmed 32 judges after May 31 in 1980; 28 in 1984; 31 in 1992; 28 in 
2004 at the end of President George W. Bush's first term; and 22 after 
May 31 in 2008 at the end of President Bush's second term. So far since 
May 31 of this year, only 4 judges have been confirmed and all required 
the Majority Leader to file cloture to end Republican filibusters.
  In the past five Presidential election years, Senate Democrats have 
never denied an up-or-down vote to any circuit court nominee of a 
Republican President who received bipartisan support in the Judiciary 
Committee. That is what Senate Republicans are now seeking to do by 
blocking votes on William Kayatta, Judge Bacharach and Richard Taranto. 
In fact, during the last 20 years, only four circuit nominees reported 
with bipartisan support have been denied an up-or-down vote during 
Presidential election year by the Senate; all four were nominated by

[[Page S4609]]

President Clinton and blocked by Senate Republicans. While Senate 
Democrats have been willing to work with Republican Presidents to 
confirm circuit court nominees with bipartisan support, Senate 
Republicans have repeatedly obstructed the nominees of Democratic 
Presidents. In the previous five Presidential election years, a total 
of 13 circuit court nominees have been confirmed after May 31. Not 
surprisingly, 12 of the 13 were Republican nominees. Clearly, this is a 
one-way street in favor of Republican Presidents' nominees.
  Senate Republicans are fond of taking quotes of things I have said 
out of context. Look at what I have done. I have not filibustered 
nominees with bipartisan support after May of Presidential election 
years. As chairman of this committee, I have steadfastly protected the 
rights of the minority. I have done so despite criticism from 
Democrats. I have only proceeded with judicial nominations supported by 
both home State Senators. That has meant that we are not able to 
proceed on current nominees from Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and 
Louisiana. I even stopped proceedings on a circuit court nominee from 
Kansas when the Kansas Republican Senators reversed themselves and 
withdrew their support for the nominee. I had to deny the Majority 
Leader's request to push a Nevada nominee through Committee because she 
did not have the support of Nevada's Republican Senator. I will put my 
record of consistent fairness up against that of any judiciary chairman 
and remind Senate Republicans that it is they who blatantly disregarded 
evenhanded practices when they were ramming through ideological 
nominations of President George W. Bush. They would proceed with 
nominations despite the objection of both home State Senators.
  So those are the Leahy rules--respect for and protection of minority 
rights, increased transparency, consistency, and allowing for 
confirmations well into Presidential election years for nominees with 
bipartisan support.
  Senate Republicans, on the other hand, have repeatedly asserted that 
the Thurmond Rule does not exist. For example, on July 14, 2008, the 
Senate Republican caucus held a hearing and said that the Thurmond Rule 
does not exist. At that hearing, the senior Senator from Kentucky, the 
Republican leader stated: ``I think it's clear that there is no 
Thurmond Rule. And I think the facts demonstrate that.'' Similarly, the 
Senator from Iowa, my friend who is now serving as ranking member of 
the Judiciary Committee, stated that the Thurmond rule was in his view 
``plain bunk.'' He said: ``The reality is that the Senate has never 
stopped confirming judicial nominees during the last few months of a 
president's term.'' We did not in 2008 when we proceeded to confirm 22 
nominees over the second half of that year.

  We remain far behind in filling the judicial vacancies to provide the 
Federal judges that American people need to get justice in our Federal 
courts. A comparison of judicial vacancies during the first terms of 
President Bush and President Obama shows a stark contrast to the way in 
which we moved to reduce judicial vacancies during the last Republican 
presidency.
  During President Bush's first term we reduced the number of judicial 
vacancies by almost 75 percent. When I became chairman in the summer of 
2001, there were 110 vacancies. As chairman, I worked with the 
administration and Senators from both sides of the aisle to confirm 100 
judicial nominees of a conservative Republican President in 17 months.
  We continued when in the minority to work with Senate Republicans and 
confirm President Bush's consensus judicial nominations well into 2004, 
a Presidential election year. At the end of that presidential term, the 
Senate had acted to confirm 205 circuit and district court nominees. By 
June 2004 we had reduced judicial vacancies to 43 on the way to 28 that 
August.
  By comparison, vacancies have long remained near or above 80 and 
while little comparative progress has been made during the 4 years of 
President Obama's first term. As contrasted to 43 vacancies in June 
2004, there are still 74 vacancies in June 2012. If we could move 
forward to Senate votes on the 17 judicial nominees ready for final 
action, the Senate could reduce vacancies below 60 and make some 
progress. I noted last week that, compared to our progress under 
President Bush, we were 9 months later in confirming the 150th circuit 
or district judge to be appointed by President Obama. Another way to 
look at our relative lack of progress and the burden the Republican 
obstruction is placing on the American people seeking justice is to 
note that by mid-November 2002 we had reduced judicial vacancies to 
below where we are now with 74 vacancies. We effectively worked twice 
as efficiently and twice as fast. By that measure, the Senate is almost 
20 months behind schedule. This is hardly then the time to be shutting 
down the process. In fact, when on November 14, 2002, the Senate 
proceeded to confirm 18 judicial nominees, vacancies went down to 60 
throughout the country.
  This is a true comparison of similar situations. The nonpartisan 
Congressional Research Service in its recent report likewise compares 
the first years of Presidential administrations. False comparisons are 
to take the end of a second term of a Presidency, when vacancies have 
already been significantly reduced and to contend that confirmation 
numbers for that period can be fairly compared to the beginning of a 
Presidential term when vacancies are high.
  Today, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Robin Rosenbaum to 
fill a judicial emergency vacancy in the U.S. District Court for the 
Southern District of Florida. Judge Rosenbaum has the ``support of her 
home State Senators, Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Republican 
Senator Marco Rubio. Her nomination was reported with near unanimous 
voice vote by the Judiciary Committee nearly 3 months ago, with the 
only objection coming from Senator Lee's customary protest vote. Judge 
Rosenbaum was rated unanimously ``well qualified'' by the ABA Standing 
Committee on the Federal judiciary, the highest possible rating.
  Judge Rosenbaum is currently a United States Magistrate Judge in the 
district in which she has been nominated, and has served in that 
position for almost 5 years. She previously served for 9 years as a 
Federal prosecutor, including 5 years as a chief of the economic crimes 
section. After graduating from law school, she spent four years as a 
trial attorney in the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice 
before serving as staff counsel in the office of the independent 
counsel for the investigation of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron 
Brown. Judge Rosenbaum clerked for Judge Stanley Marcus of the Eleventh 
Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a terrific nominee and she has my 
support.
  Last week, the Judiciary Committee also voted Judge Brian Davis out 
of committee favorably for a judicial emergency vacancy in the Middle 
District of Florida. Judge Davis is an exceptional nominee with a 
distinguished career in public service. He has been a State court judge 
for 18 years, and has also served as a prosecutor for 9 years. The ABA 
Standing Committee on the Federal judiciary has unanimously rated Judge 
Davis well qualified to serve on the district court, its highest 
possible rating. Judge Davis was selected based on a nonpartisan 
judicial selection commission appointed by Senators Nelson and Rubio, 
and both of the home State Senators have supported moving forward with 
consideration of this nomination. We should move to confirm him without 
delay so that he can get to work for the people of Florida.
  After today's vote, we need to continue confirming nominees. At a 
time when judicial vacancies remained historically high for 3 years, 
with 30 more vacancies and 30 fewer confirmations than at this point in 
President Bush's first term, I would hope the Senate Republican 
leadership would reconsider and work with us on filling these 
longstanding judicial vacancies to help the American people. We have 
well-qualified, consensus nominees with bipartisan support who can fill 
these vacancies. It is only partisan politics and continued tactics of 
obstruction that stand in the way.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise in support of the nomination of 
Robin S. Rosenbaum, to be U.S. district judge for the Southern District 
of Florida.
  Although it is the practice and tradition of the Senate to not 
confirm circuit nominees in the closing months of

[[Page S4610]]

a Presidential election year, we continue to confirm consensus district 
judge nominees. We have now confirmed 151 nominees of this President to 
the district and circuit courts. We also have confirmed two Supreme 
Court nominees during President Obama's term.
  I have heard some Members repeatedly ask the question, ``What is 
different about this President that he has to be treated differently 
than all these other Presidents?'' I won't speculate as to any 
inference that might be intended by that question, but I can tell you 
that this President is not being treated differently than previous 
Presidents. By any objective measure, this President has been treated 
fairly and consistent with past Senate practices.
  For example, with regard to the number of confirmations, let me put 
that in perspective for my colleagues with an apples-to-apples 
comparison. The last time the Senate confirmed two Supreme Court 
nominees was during President Bush's second term. And during President 
Bush's entire second term the Senate confirmed a total of only 119 
district and circuit court nominees. With Ms. Rosenbaum's confirmation 
today, we will have confirmed 32 more district and circuit nominees for 
President Obama than we did for President Bush in similar 
circumstances.
  During the last Presidential election year, 2008, the Senate 
confirmed a total of 28 judges--24 district and 4 circuit. Today, we 
will exceed that number, as well. We have already confirmed 5 Circuit 
nominees, and this will be the 24th district judge confirmed this year. 
Those who say this President is being treated differently either fail 
to recognize history or want to ignore the facts.
  After graduating from the University of Miami School of Law in 1991, 
Judge Rosenbaum worked as a trial attorney for the Federal Programs 
Branch of the Department of Justice. Her practice involved defending 
the constitutionality of Federal statutes and agency programs. In 
September 1995, she joined the Independent Counsel Office's 
investigation of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown. She 
served as staff counsel, participating in the criminal investigation 
and providing advice to other team members. Upon closure of the 
investigation, Judge Rosenbaum joined the law firm of Holland & Knight 
LLP as an associate. While there, from 1996 to 1997, she worked on a 
variety of civil matters, including Federal employment law. Judge 
Rosenbaum then accepted a position as a law clerk for Judge Stanley 
Marcus on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 
where she worked from January to October 1998.
  After her clerkship, Judge Rosenbaum became an assistant U.S. 
attorney. She specialized in criminal prosecutions such as securities 
fraud, bank fraud, identity theft, tax fraud, telemarketing fraud, 
health care fraud, internet fraud, and computer crimes. In 2002, she 
became the chief of the Economic Crimes Section for the Central 
Division, Fort Lauderdale, which gave her supervisory responsibilities 
over 8 to 10 other assistant U.S. attorneys. She held that title until 
her appointment as a magistrate judge in 2007.
  In 2007, the U.S. district judges for the Southern District of 
Florida appointed Judge Rosenbaum to be a U.S. magistrate judge. As 
magistrate judge in the District of Southern District of Florida, she 
manages all aspects of the pretrial process in civil and criminal 
cases: conducting evidentiary hearings, ruling on nondispositive 
motions, making reports and recommendations regarding dispositive 
motions, and issuing criminal complaints, search warrants, and arrest 
warrants.
  The ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary unanimously rated 
Judge Rosenbaum as ``well qualified.''
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, our Nation faces an alarming 
judicial vacancy rate. I am grateful that today we will be voting to 
confirm U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Rosenbaum to fill a judicial 
emergency in the Southern District of Florida for a Federal district 
judgeship. She earned her undergraduate degree at Cornell, her law 
degree from Miami. She began her legal career in the U.S. Attorney 
General's Honors Program where she worked as a trial attorney in the 
Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division. She has worked in 
private practice at Holland & Knight and as a law clerk to Judge 
Stanley Marcus, U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the 11th Circuit Court of 
Appeals, and she has worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney down in the 
Southern District of Florida.
  Our State has a great tradition of bipartisan support for our Federal 
judicial nominees going back a couple of decades. Of course, through 
this judicial nominating commission, she has come forth with their 
stamp of approval. The two Senators from Florida agree. I am happy to 
recommend her to the Senate.
  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 nomination 
of Robin S. Rosenbaum, of Florida, to be U.S. District Judge for the 
Southern District of Florida.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rockefeller), the Senator from Colorado (Mr. Udall), and the Senator 
from Virginia (Mr. Webb) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Utah (Mr. Hatch) and the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Kirk).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 92, nays 3, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 167 Ex.]

                                YEAS--92

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Bingaman
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Boxer
     Brown (MA)
     Brown (OH)
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Collins
     Conrad
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Kohl
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lugar
     Manchin
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Portman
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Toomey
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Warner
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                                NAYS--3

     DeMint
     Lee
     Paul

                             NOT VOTING--5

     Hatch
     Kirk
     Rockefeller
     Udall (CO)
     Webb
  The nomination was confirmed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table, and the 
President will be duly notified of the Senate's action.

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