Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the nomination of Judge Justin Walker of Kentucky to serve on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit:
“This morning our colleagues on the Judiciary Committee are examining the qualifications of Judge Justin Walker. Judge Walker is a fellow Kentuckian. He is a District Judge for the Western District of Kentucky. And he is President Trump’s nominee to serve on our second-most-important federal court — the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“I am grateful to Chairman Graham and all of our other chairmen who are finding creative new ways to conduct important business. The Senate is demonstrating that the work of governing must and can continue, albeit in new ways. So, to respect this time of social distancing, I’m going to offer my introduction here on the floor instead.
“Since Judge Walker was tapped to serve the people of Kentucky on the federal district bench, he’s wasted no time in expanding his strong reputation for intellectual brilliance, legal acumen, and total fairness and impartiality.
“In just the last few weeks, Judge Walker has won national attention for an eloquent and persuasive opinion that forcefully defended Kentuckians’ basic First Amendment freedom of religion, and he has earned a “well-qualified” rating from the left-leaning American Bar Association that Senate Democrats like my friend the Democratic Leader have frequently described as “the gold standard.”
“Let me say that again: In the span of just a couple of weeks, almost simultaneously, Judge Walker has won praise from religious freedom advocates nationwide and the approval of the ABA which Democrats call “the gold standard.”
“That illustrates the kind of impressive individual the Committee is considering this morning.
“Already, Judge Walker’s reputation as a brilliant legal rising star precedes him. But when you consider the full scope of his education and experience, it’s hardly a surprise.
“Judge Walker graduated from Duke University, summa cum laude. He graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, and edited the law review.
“Then prestigious clerkships: At the D.C. Circuit for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh and at the Supreme Court for then-Justice Anthony Kennedy. He learned at the elbows of legal giants.
“Then he moved on to skilled performance in private practice…
“And then to distinguished scholarship as a professor at the University of Louisville law school with particular expertise in national security, administrative law, and the separation of powers.
“Indeed, an impressive record. But, as Kentucky’s Secretary of State Michael Adams put it recently, “Judge Walker is more than just a [C.V.].”
“Hence the outpouring of praise from the peers, colleagues, and neighbors in Kentucky who know him well.
“100 Kentucky lawyers, many of whom have practiced before Judge Walker in the district court, wrote to praise his “courage to apply precedent faithfully.”
“Sixteen state attorneys general wrote to share their confidence in Judge Walker’s ability to, quote, “weigh the facts against the law as it is written… not as he wishes it to be.”
“I am confident our colleagues on the committee will find this nominee possesses a generational legal mind, a kind heart, and total judicial impartiality.
“President Trump made an outstanding choice when he asked this Kentuckian to take his public service to the next level. I am confident Judge Walker will not disappoint.
“I urge the committee to approve his nomination and I look forward to voting to confirm him soon on the Senate floor.”