Rosen Speaks on Senate Floor In Opposition to Ninth Circuit Court Nominee

Video of Senator Rosen During Her Floor Speech Can Be Viewed Here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) took to the Senate floor, voicing opposition to the President’s nominee to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Nevada, Lawrence VanDyke. In her remarks, Rosen highlighted the many areas of deep concern regarding Mr. VanDyke’s nomination to this lifetime appointment. 

“Our federal courts make decisions every day that affect consumers, immigrants, small businesses, not to mention our right to equal treatment, education, and health care. As such, our federal judges must be serious, fair-minded, and nonpartisan,” said Senator Rosen. “Instead, the President nominated Lawrence VanDyke, a Washington, DC lawyer. He wasn’t born in Nevada, he didn’t grow up in Nevada, he didn’t go to school in Nevada, and he doesn’t live in Nevada now… I oppose the nomination of Mr. VanDyke, and if it is withdrawn or voted down, I will be ready that day to work with this White House on finding nominees from Nevada that are qualified and fair and nonpartisan.”

Full text of senator Rosen’s speech can be viewed here.

BACKGROUND: Senator Rosen announced her opposition to Mr. VanDyke’s nomination after reviewing his record, meeting with him privately, reviewing his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 30, 2019, and considering a letter from the American Bar Association rating Mr. VanDyke “Not Qualified” for a federal judicial seat.  Throughout the White House’s selection process, Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen repeatedly voiced concerns about Mr. VanDyke’s lack of ties to Nevada.  The two Senators wrote to the Judiciary Committee in advance of his confirmation hearing: “Selecting an outside political operative with limited ties to the state, whose colleagues challenged his work ethic and temperament, is a disservice to our constituents, and sets a dangerous precedent going forward.”

Earlier this month, Senator Rosen, along with Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV), announced the launch of their bipartisan Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada Judicial Commissions. The Senators have created two five-member commissions, one in southern Nevada and one in northern Nevada, which will review and recommend candidates for potential nomination to the federal bench.

The judicial commissions will interview applicants and submit to the Senators the names of candidates deemed qualified for the federal bench. In the event of a vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Nevada, the two commissions will join to form a 10-member statewide commission to review applications and recommend qualified candidates to the Senators. Traditionally, U.S. Senators confer with the White House and propose candidates for the President to nominate to fill judicial vacancies in their home state. This commission is modeled after similar processes used in other states.

Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen invite all Nevadans interested in being considered for the current vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in the Bruce R. Thompson Federal Courthouse in Reno, Nevada to complete an application that can be found on the Senators’ websites. The deadline to apply is November 8. Applicants should expect that the respective regional commission members would review their application shortly thereafter.