Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Furman Nomination

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

legislator photo

Mr. President, I rise in support of Jesse Furman, who is a nominee for the District Court in the Southern District.

I have had the good fortune to present to the President more than 13 nominees for the Federal bench, every one of them is incredibly accomplished. Each represents the best of the bar that the State of New York has to offer. I believe in excellence, moderation, and diversity, which are the three standards I use. But on the standard of excellence, Jesse is no exception to my standard of excellence. In fact, he doesn't just meet it, he shatters it. He is one of the most brilliant lawyers in the country. He is amazing. The fact that he wants to serve our Federal Government on the bench is a tribute to us all. It is a tribute to our country and to him.

How about moderation? This is the issue I wish to speak most to my colleagues about. Who was his protege in many ways? Judge Mukasey. He worked for Judge Mukasey as a clerk and then as attorney general. A lot of people on this side of the aisle, including myself, have real differences with Judge Mukasey, but if we cannot support Jesse Furman for the nomination, then we cannot support anybody because this nomination could have come from a Democrat, it could have come from a Republican, it could have come from a conservative, it could have come from a liberal. He is truly a mainstream thinker, and so this vote will be indicative. Because if Jesse Furman cannot achieve cloture, then our system is so paralyzed we better go back to the drawing board because it will mean no district court judge can be approved, none.

So I would ask Senators on both sides of the aisle to support him. I know we have a number of our Republican colleagues who have said they might support him, and I hope they will. We had a good vote in the Judiciary Committee on Jesse Furman. Again, he is truly excellent, endorsed by his former coclerks on the Supreme Court, including those who clerked for Justices Rehnquist, Thomas, O'Connor, Kennedy, and Scalia.

John Podhoretz, a conservative columnist, wrote that Furman should be confirmed because he is ``terrifically knowledgeable, entirely respectful of views that differ from his, and utterly without an axe to grind.'' That is why he passed without discussion out of the Judiciary Committee without dissent.

Please, colleagues, a vote for Furman will show that we can come together certainly on a judge of such moderation. A vote against him will say the system is irreparably broken.

I thank the Chair.

I yield the floor.

Similar entries