|00:00:00||OF THE FEDERALIST SOCIETIES AND CONTRIBUTORS TO OTHER CONSERVATIVE LITIGATION CENTERS AND WERE CONFIRMED JUST A FEW YEARS AGO.|
|00:00:06||SO BILL MARTINEZ ISN'T THE ACLU AND WE OUGHT TO BE CAREFUL TO AVOID SETTING FALSE STANDARDS.|
|00:00:10||SECONDLY, SENATOR SESSIONS CLAIMED HE WAS DISSATISFIED WITH BILL MARTINEZ' RESPONSE REGARDING THE DEATH PENALTY.|
|00:00:16||AND THE RECORD WILL SHOW THAT BILL MARTINEZ MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS, THE DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT VIOLATE THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT TO THE U.|
|00:00:26||S. CONSTITUTION. AND HE SAID CONSISTENT WITH THIS PRECEDENT, I DO NOT BELIEVE THE DEATH PENALTY IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.|
|00:00:32||AND SENATOR SESSIONS ALSO CLAIMED THAT BILL MARTINEZ STATED EMPATHY CAN BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION WITH LEGAL DECISIONS.|
|00:00:40||THIS IS MISLEADING AND THE RECORD STATES OTHERWISE.|
|00:00:43||AND SENATOR SESSIONS ASKED BILL MARTINEZ, DO YOU THINK THAT IT'S EVER PROPER FOR JUDGES TO INDULGE THEIR OWN SUBJECTIVE SENSE OF EMPATHY IN DETERMINING WHAT THE LAW MEANS.|
|00:00:50||BILL MARTINEZ SAID NO.|
|00:00:52||LET ME END ON THIS NOTE.|
|00:00:54||BILL MARTINEZ IS A MAN OF HIGH CHARACTER.|
|00:00:56||HE'S A GOOD MAN AND HE WILL MAKE AN EXCELLENT FEDERAL JUDGE.|
|00:00:59||LET'S VOTE TO CONFIRM BILL MARTINEZ TO THE U.|
|00:01:02||S. DISTRICT COURT IN COLORADO.|
|00:01:06||MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.|
|00:01:08||THE PRESIDING OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER,|
Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, I rise in response to Senator Sessions' comments about a nominee we are going to consider shortly, Bill Martinez.
Senator Sessions just spoke about the ACLU for 30 minutes, trying to define Bill Martinez--a district court nominee, not the appeals court as Sessions noted--as an ACLU-like nominee and then criticizing his hearing responses on the death penalty and the [Page: S10885] empathy standard. I wanted to clarify for the record three points of misinformation.
Bill Martinez did not work for the ACLU. He served on an advisory board regarding cases in Denver. Several Bush nominees were members of the Federalist Society and contributors to other conservative litigation centers and were confirmed just a few years ago. Bill Martinez is not the ACLU, and we ought to be careful to avoid setting false standards.
From the Martinez Hearing: Senator Sessions: Have you ever acted as counsel in a matter on behalf of the ACLU? If so, please provide the Committee with a citation for each case, a description of the matter, and a description of your participation in that matter.
Martinez Response: No.
Senator Sessions claimed he was dissatisfied with Bill Martinez's response regarding the death penalty, stating that he was not clear in his beliefs. This is misleading and the record states otherwise.
From the Martinez Hearing: Senator Sessions: Please answer whether you personally believe that the death penalty violates the Constitution.
Martinez Response: It is clear under current Supreme Court jurisprudence that, with very limited exceptions, the death penalty does not violate the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976); Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005); Kennedy v. Louisiana, 129 S.Ct. 1 (2008). Consistent with this precedent, I do not believe the death penalty is unconstitutional.
Senator Sessions also claimed that Bill Martinez stated empathy can be taken into consideration with legal decisions. This is misleading and the record states otherwise.
From the Martinez Hearing: Senator Sessions: Do you think that it's ever proper for judges to indulge their own subjective sense of empathy in determining what the law means? Martinez Response: No.
Let me end on this note. Bill Martinez is a man of high character, he is a good man, and he will make an excellent Federal judge. Let us vote to confirm Bill Martinez to the Colorado U.S. District Court.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.