Executive Sessionby Senator Cory A. Booker
Posted on 2016-01-11
BOOKER. Mr. President, today I wish to support the nomination of
Judge Luis F. Restrepo, the President's nominee for appointment on the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Filling a vacancy on the third circuit is important to New Jerseyans. Because only a handful of cases each year reach the Supreme Court, circuit courts often have the final word in the vast majority of Federal cases. That means, for most of my constituents who bring cases in Federal courts, the buck stops with the third circuit.
The third circuit currently has two judicial vacancies. The vacant seat that President nominated Judge Restrepo to fill has been declared a judicial emergency. That means it has a very heavy caseload. In fact the third circuit has more than 900 weighted filings per judgeship. Filling a vacancy on that important Federal appellate court will lower the caseload burden and ensure access to justice for more Americans.
Judge Restrepo is a well-qualified individual. There is no question about that. He has over 10 years of experience on the Federal bench. In fact the Senate unanimously confirmed him to serve as a Federal district judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he served as a Federal magistrate judge. As a member of the Federal bench, he has presided over 56 trials that have gone to verdict or judgement.
He has a wealth of experience in both public service and private practice. He was a founding member of a Philadelphia law firm, where he practiced both criminal defense and civil rights litigation. He served as an assistant Federal defender with the Community Federal Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and an assistant defender for the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He has relevant experience in both criminal and civil law, which will serve him well as a Federal appellate judge.
Judge Restrepo has excellent legal credentials. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from Tulane University Law School.
The work of a Federal appellate judge can often be academic as the job requires a judge to address legal issues of first impression. Judge Restrepo has more than two decades of teaching experience at both the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. He also taught with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. In addition, he has written numerous articles appearing in a variety of national legal publications.
He has dedicated his time to public service and to bettering his community. He is the former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania. He served on the board of directors for the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley. As a Federal judge, he has also participated in a reentry program to assist people recently released from federal custody to reenter the community and become productive citizens.
I believe he has a wealth of relevant experience and a strong legal background. Other Senators share my confidence in Judge Restrepo. He has the bipartisan support from both Pennsylvania Senators and was voted out of the Judiciary Committee by a unanimous voice vote.
Judge Restrepo's confirmation is also historic. He will be the first Latino judge from Pennsylvania to serve on the third circuit and only the second Latino to sit on that court. He also has the strong endorsement of the Hispanic National Bar Association. According to that distinguished organization, Judge Restrepo's ``integrity, knowledge of the law, breadth of professional experience, and intellectual capacity make him well suited to sit as a federal appellate judge.'' I could not agree more.
I urge my colleagues to confirm Judge Restrepo to the third circuit today.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.