[Congressional Record Volume 148, Number 6 (Monday, February 4, 2002)]
[Pages S276-S279]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                           EXECUTIVE SESSION



  Mr. REID. The Senator from Alabama is here to speak on behalf of the 
judge he worked so hard to nominate. I ask unanimous consent we 
immediately move to the matter relating to the nomination of Judge 
Callie V. Granade.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read the nomination of Callie V. Granade, of 
Alabama, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District 
of Alabama.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I thank the Senator from Nevada for his courtesy. I 
will speak about Callie--known as Ginny--Granade, who will be voted on 
shortly for the U.S. district judgeship for the southern district of 
Alabama. Ginny Granade is a nominee of the highest order. President 
Bush has nominated her to be the judge in the southern district of 
Alabama. She has the temperament, integrity, legal knowledge, and 
experience that will make her an outstanding jurist on the Federal 
bench. I know this from firsthand experience.
  She served as assistant U.S. attorney when I was U.S. attorney for 12 
years. She had been originally appointed assistant U.S. attorney by my 
predecessor in the late 1970s. She served with great skill and 
distinction. I was there when she was named one of the first senior 
litigation counsels in the Department of Justice, a position that 
recognized her extraordinary skill and integrity in prosecuting 
throughout the country.
  Later, she became the chief of the criminal section of the U.S. 
Attorney's Office under my tenure, and then she became the acting U.S. 
attorney, until recently, when the new U.S. attorney was confirmed by 
the Senate.
  Ginny is levelheaded, fair minded, trustworthy, and very smart. She 
has tremendous capabilities. She graduated from the University of Texas 
School of Law. After graduation she served as a law clerk to the 
Honorable John Godbold for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth 
Circuit. Judge Godbold was chief judge of the Fifth Circuit. When the 
Fifth Circuit split, he became chief judge of the Eleventh Circuit. He 
was one of the great jurists in America. This old Fifth Circuit is the 
same circuit in which her grandfather served, one of the grand judges 
of the old Fifth Circuit. He is widely credited as being part of a 
group of judges on that court who wrestled with and moved the South out 
of its days of segregation into a new day of race relations. He 
certainly is a champion of those causes.
  As Senator Durbin recognized in the hearings, his was a contribution 
to harmony and integration in the South.
  Her experience has been particularly valuable for her to serve on the 
bench. She served for 20 years in the U.S. Attorney's Office where she 
practiced on a regular basis, in the very same district court for which 
she has been nominated, as well as her experience in appellate work in 
the Eleventh Circuit where she always wrote her briefs and argued her 
cases. The cases she tried have given her extraordinary exposure to 
understand how a Federal district court works, and more importantly, 
how a Federal district judge should conduct herself.
  Since Ginny joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1977 as the first 
female assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of Alabama, she 
has proven her merit as an extraordinary prosecutor and leader. Her 
abilities in the courtroom have been demonstrated time and again in her 
prosecution of complex white-collar fraud cases, tax cases, public 
corruption cases, cases of every kind--cases she not only tried but 
  I remember one case very distinctly. It was the longest criminal case 
to my knowledge ever tried in the district, 11 weeks. She was the lead 
attorney. It was a very intense case, with prominent attorneys on the 
defense side representing prominent defendants. It was well and 
intensely litigated.
  At the end of the case, she made, without a doubt in my mind, the 
finest closing argument I have ever heard. It was down to earth, 
simple, not emotional, but logical. She took every allegation, every 
contention of the Government's case and explained patiently and in 
detail, with that incredibly bright mind of hers, why the allegations 
in the indictment were true, and obtained a conviction in that case.
  To me, that is an unusual skill. It is an unusual ability she 
possesses. I have never in my many years of practice seen anything 
  The American Bar Association has unanimously rated her well 
qualified, the highest rating one can receive. I thought that was a 
great testament to her reputation with the attorneys in the southern 
district of Alabama. They know her. They know her reputation. They are 
the ones to whom the Bar Association talks. It was a tremendous 
affirmation of the excellence of her career and the integrity she 
displayed year after year after year.
  Former Senator Howard Heflin of Alabama, who also was chief justice 
of the State of Alabama, and a Democrat, is a fan of Ginny Granade and 
has supported her and stated he knows of no opposition to her 
appointment. Her litigation skills, as well as a command of the complex 
issues, has won her respect and admiration and overwhelming support 
throughout her area of practice.
  I am glad we are moving on this nomination. We have a judicial crisis 
in the

[[Page S277]]

southern district of Alabama where I practiced for many years. I 
received a letter from our chief district judge, Judge Charles Butler, 
who underscored the need to get this position filled.
  He is the only active judge who is serving now in that district. The 
district is authorized three judges with a fourth approved by the 
Judicial Conference of the United States. One of these vacancies--the 
one being filled today--will be the longest district court emergency 
vacancy in the country, one that is a crisis because we have so few 
judges and such a heavy caseload. So I really appreciate the 
willingness of the Senate to move this nomination forward today.
  One of the things I think is most valuable as a judicial 
characteristic is that a judge should have good judgment at the basic 
  You can tell people who have good judgment. When people have good 
judgment, people ask them for their opinion. They seek out their 
judgment. When I was U.S. attorney and I had a tough question and a 
difficult matter to wrestle with, and I often did, I went to Ginny 
Granade's office and asked her opinion, as did every other lawyer in 
the office. In fact, judges were even aware of that. Young lawyers also 
sought her opinion before they went to court, to ask how they should 
handle a case or what she thought was the legal answer to this, or is 
this evidence admissible, or is that evidence going to be excluded. 
They would get her opinion first.
  The story is often told that young assistant U.S. attorneys who 
appeared before Federal judges in the district, who were cornered about 
the way the Federal judge thought about the law, would say, ``Well, 
Ginny told me that is what it was.'' That was generally enough to get 
at least a respectful hearing by the judge.
  I suggest in the filling of this vacancy with Ginny Granade as a 
Federal judge, we are going to have done a good day's work. The 
district will have a person of integrity and ability, a person who has 
never been politically engaged in any way but who always has loved the 
law, has been a person of absolute integrity, a person who worked 
exceedingly hard, who I know respects the position of a Federal judge, 
who will work to master it in every conceivable way, and once that is 
done will preside with the most wonderful temperament but in charge at 
all times. She has had the experience to do this.
  I am excited for her. I am excited for the attorneys in the Southern 
District of Alabama who will have the honor to practice before her.
  In my view, a highly important characteristic of a judge is he or she 
is a judge you look forward to appearing before. Some judges, will give 
a lawyer a headache just thinking of going into their court. Other 
judges make the practice of law a delight. Her experience and practice 
make me confident that the lawyers and the litigants in the Southern 
District of Alabama will enjoy and appreciate their opportunity to be 
in the courtroom she will control and preside over. She will represent 
the Federal Government and the laws of the United States in an 
exemplary manner. I am delighted her nomination will be before this 
body shortly. I am confident she will receive the same unanimous vote 
that the ABA gave her, with their highest recommendation.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I begin by thanking the nominees' home 
State Senators for working with us on this nomination and by commending 
the majority leader and our assistant majority leader for bringing this 
matter to successful conclusion today.
  Callie Granade is the second nominee being considered from Alabama in 
the last several weeks and the second confirmed to fill an emergency 
vacancy. On November 6, the Senate confirmed Judge Karon Bowdre by a 
vote of 98 to 0 to a longstanding vacancy on the Northern District of 
Alabama District Court. Today the Senate will take final action to fill 
a longstanding vacancy on the Southern District of Alabama District 
  This nomination was received on September 5 and reported favorably to 
the Senate by the Judiciary Committee just a few days before the Senate 
adjourned last December. It is being taken up in the first days of our 
return. These Alabama district court vacancies have persisted for years 
while Senators were unable to agree on acceptable nominees with the 
previous administration. Unlike the nomination of Ken Simon, which 
languished for more than 6 months in 2000 without a hearing, both Karon 
Bowdre and Callie Granade have been considered promptly. I congratulate 
the nominee and her family on her confirmation today.
  Confirmation of Ms. Granade will be the seventh confirmation filling 
a vacancy designated as a judicial emergency since I became chairman 
last summer. Unfortunately, the White House has yet to work with home-
State Senators to send nominees for an additional 15 judicial emergency 
vacancies and 31 federal trial court vacancies.
  With today's confirmation, the Senate has confirmed three additional 
judges since returning late last month. The Senate will have confirmed 
31 judges since the change in majority last summer.
  Of course, I have yet to chair the Judiciary Committee for a full 
year; it has been barely 6 months. But the confirmations we have 
achieved in those 6 months are already comparable to the year-end 
totals for 1997, 1999 and 2000 and nearly twice as many as were 
confirmed under a Republican majority in the Senate in 1996.
  The 1996 session was the second year of the last Republican 
chairmanship. In that 1996 session, only 17 judges were confirmed all 
year and none were confirmed to the Court of Appeals--none. I expect 
and intend to work hard on additional judicial nominations through this 
session and to exceed the number of judges confirmed during the 1996 
  The Judiciary Committee held its first hearing of the session on our 
second day in session, January 24, for Judge Michael Melloy, a nominee 
to the 8th Circuit from Iowa, and district court nominees from Arizona, 
Iowa, Texas, Louisiana and the District of Columbia, a total of six 
judicial nominations.
  I have set another hearing on the nomination of Judge Charles 
Pickering for the 5th Circuit for this Thursday, February 7, 2002.
  I am working to hold another confirmation hearing for judicial 
nominations, as well, before the end of February, even though it is a 
short month with a week's recess.
  I noted on January 25 in my statement to the Senate that we inherited 
a frayed process and are working hard to repair the damage of the last 
several years.
  I have already laid out a constructive program of suggestions that 
would help in that effort and help return the confirmation process to 
one that is a cooperative, bipartisan effort. I have included 
suggestions for the White House, that it work with Democrats as well as 
Republicans, that it encourage rather than forestall the use of 
bipartisan selection commissions, and that it consider carefully the 
views of home-State Senators.
  This past summer, by the time I became chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee, Federal court vacancies already topped 100 and were rising 
to 111. Since July, we have worked hard and the Senate has been 
diligent in considering and confirming 31 judges, thereby beginning the 
process of lowering the vacancies on our federal courts. Since I became 
chairman, 26 additional vacancies have arisen. Still, we have been able 
to outpace this high level of attrition and lower the vacancies to 
under 100.
  During the last 6\1/2\ years when a Republican majority controlled 
the process, the vacancies rose from 65 to over 100, an increase of 
almost 60 percent.
  By contrast, we are now working to keep these numbers moving in the 
right directions. Our majority leader, with the help of the assistant 
majority leader, is clearing the calendar of judicial nominations and 
the Senate has proceeded to vote on every one of them. This is one of 
the reforms that

[[Page S278]]

signals a return to normalcy for the Senate, which had gotten away from 
such practices over the past 6 years. Since the change in majority, 
judicial nominees have not been held on the calendar for months and 
months or held over without action or returned to the President without 
  I have observed that to make real progress will take the cooperation 
of the White House. The most progress can be made most quickly if the 
White House would begin working with home-State Senators to identify 
fair-minded, nonideological, consensus nominees to fill these court 
vacancies. One of the reasons that the committee was able to work as 
quickly as it has and the Senate has been able to confirm 31 judges in 
the last few months is because those nominations were strongly 
supported as consensus nominees.
  I have heard of too many situations in too many States involving too 
many reasonable and moderate home-State Senators in which the White 
House has demonstrated no willingness to work with home-state Senators 
to fill judicial vacancies cooperatively. As we move forward, I urge 
the White House to show greater inclusiveness and flexibility and to 
help make this a truly bipartisan enterprise. Logjams exist in a number 
of settings.
  To make real progress, repair the damage that has been done over 
previous years, and build bridges toward a more cooperative process, 
there is much that the White House could do to work more cooperatively 
with all home-State Senators, including Democratic Senators.
  Of course, more than two-thirds of the Federal court vacancies 
continue to be on the district courts. The administration has been slow 
to make nominations to the vacancies on the Federal trial courts. In 
the last 5 months of last year, the Senate confirmed a higher 
percentage of the President's trial court nominees, 22 out of 36, than 
a Republican majority had confirmed in the first session of either of 
the last two Congresses with a Democratic President.
  Last year the President did not make nominations to almost 80 percent 
of the current trial court vacancies. As we began this session, 55 out 
of 69 vacancies were without a nominee. In late January, the White 
House finally sent nominations for another 24 of those trial court 
  After the committee receives the indication that the nominees have 
the support of their home-State Senators and after the committee has 
received ABA peer reviews, these recent nominations will then be 
eligible to be included in committee hearings. Because the White House 
shifted the time at which the ABA does its evaluation of nominees to 
the post-nomination period, these 24 nominees are unlikely to have 
completed files ready for evaluation until after the Easter recess. 
Even then, over two and one-half dozen of the Federal trial court 
vacancies, 31, may still be without eligible nominees.
  We have accomplished more, and at a faster pace, than in years past. 
We have worked harder and faster than previously on judicial 
nominations, despite the unprecedented difficulties being faced by the 
Nation and the Senate.
  I am encouraged that this confirmation today was not delayed by 
extended, unexplained, anonymous holds on the Senate Executive 
Calendar, the type of hold that characterized so much of the previous 
6\1/2\ years. Majority Leader Daschle has moved swiftly on judicial 
nominees reported to the calendar.
  I thank all Senators who have helped in our efforts and assisted in 
the hard work to review and consider the dozens of judicial nominations 
we have reported and confirmed. I thank, in particular, the Senators 
who serve on the Judiciary Committee. I thank them not only for their 
kind words, but for their helpful action since this summer.
  As our action today demonstrates, again, we are moving ahead to fill 
judicial vacancies with nominees who have strong bipartisan support.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to print in the Record an 
editorial from the Washington Post.
  There being no objection, the editorial was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, Jan. 27, 2002]

                          Mr. Leahy and Judges

       Sen. Patrick Leahy, Democratic chairman of the Senate 
     Judiciary Committee, gave a speech on the Senate floor Friday 
     that, on the surface, seemed like another round of partisan 
     warfare over judges. But embedded within the rhetoric was a 
     significant step toward bringing some comity back to the 
     judicial nominations process. Mr. Leahy promised ``steadiness 
     in the hearing process'' and ``regular hearings'' on judges 
     at a pace faster than the Senate has managed in recent years. 
     He promised also that these hearings would not be weighted 
     too heavily toward relatively uncontroversial district judges 
     but would give appeals court judges a fair shake too--
     including specifically a number of court of appeals nominees 
     whom liberals oppose.
       One can quibble about the names the senator left off his 
     list; he did not, for example, promise a hearing for D.C. 
     Circuit nominee John Roberts. But the overall message was 
     positive. If Mr. Leahy sticks to the plans he laid out, this 
     could be a fair and productive year for judicial nominations.
       Mr. Leahy also asked that President Bush do more to 
     accommodate the concerns of Senate Democrats in making 
     nominations. It is a message that Mr. Bush should take to 
     heart. In two courts of appeals in particular, the 6th and 
     4th circuits, Republicans blocked President Clinton's 
     nominees for years, keeping seats open that Mr. Bush is now 
     keen to fill. Democratic senators from Michigan and North 
     Carolina want a say in who gets nominated and are blocking 
     Mr. Bush's nominees. Mr. Bush has the right to name whomever 
     he wants, but the Democratic grievance is legitimate, and the 
     process would benefit greatly if these logjams could be 
     broken in a fashion acceptable to both parties. It's hard to 
     imagine that nowhere in these two states are there potential 
     judicial candidates whose records and qualifications stand 
     above politics.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, Will the Senate advise and 
consent to the nomination of Callie V. Granade, of Alabama, to be 
United States District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama? The 
yeas and nays have been ordered, and the clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Corzine), 
the Senator from Iowa (Mr. Harkins), the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. 
Inouye), the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kerry), the Senator from 
Georgia (Mr. Miller), the Senator from New York (Mr. Schumer), the 
Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Torricelli), and the Senator from 
Minnestoa (Mr. Wellstone) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. CRAIG. I announce that the Senator from Missouri (Mr. Bond), the 
Senator from Kansas (Mr. Brownback), the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. 
Cochran), the Senator from Wyoming (Mr. Enzi), the Senator from 
Tennessee (Mr. Frist), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Gramm), the Senator 
from Utah (Mr. Hatch), the Senator from Texas (Mrs. Hutchison), the 
Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Lott), the Senator from Arizona (Mr. 
McCain), the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. McConnell), the Senator from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Nickles), the Senator from Pennsylvania (Mr. Santorum), 
the Senator from Pennsylvania (Mr. Specter), the Senator from Alaska 
(Mr. Stevens), the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Thompson), and the 
Senator from Virginia (Mr. Warner) are necessarily absent.
  I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Specter), would vote ``yea.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 75, nays 0, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 11 Ex.]


     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)

                             NOT VOTING--25


[[Page S279]]

  The nomination was confirmed.
 Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I ask that the Record show that 
I was necessarily absent for this evening's vote on the nomination of 
Callie Granade to be U.S. district judge for the Southern District of 
Alabama. I was attending the visitation for Minnesota State 
Representative Darlene Luther, who passed away last week. Had I been 
present, I would have voted in favor of the nomination.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, what is the current order of business?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the President will 
be notified of the Senate's action.