As a senator, I have become accustomed to being criticized for things I have done. But it is a little harder to hear criticism for things that I have not done — specifically, your editorial board’s false assertion that I am somehow delaying the nomination of Judge L. Felipe Restrepo to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (“Unjust Delay: Toomey Is to Blame for a Stalled Nomination,” May 10 editorial). Even worse, your board then ascribed a false motive for the actions that I never took.
I fully support the president’s proposal to elevate Judge Restrepo to the 3rd Circuit, just as I supported his confirmation to the federal district court. In 2012, I joined Sen. Bob Casey in asking the White House to nominate Judge Restrepo to the district court, I urged my colleagues to vote for Judge Restrepo and I happily voted for his confirmation.
The first step to Judge Restrepo’s confirmation to the 3rd Circuit is a thorough background investigation. No hearing or vote goes forward until that investigation is completed. The Senate Judiciary Committee has not yet completed that investigation.
That is the reason the committee has not yet held a hearing on Judge Restrepo’s nomination — a fact that could have been easily learned with a call to the committee. I have made it clear to the committee that I plan to turn in my “blue slip” — the formal manifestation of my support for Judge Restrepo — the day that investigation is completed, provided no issues of concern are discovered.
Judge Restrepo represents a long-standing, bipartisan partnership between Sen. Casey and me to fill vacancies on the federal bench in Pennsylvania.
Indeed, Sen. Casey and I have worked closely together to identify, vet, recommend and confirm 15 judicial candidates for the federal bench in Pennsylvania. Judge Restrepo’s confirmation to the 3rd Circuit will mark 16. Only two states — California and New York — have had more judges confirmed to their federal benches during this time.
This is a record of bipartisan accomplishment to be celebrated, not to be misrepresented.
SEN. PAT TOOMEY