Floor Updates

Nelson-NE, Johanns

Morning Business

Jan 23 2012

04:00 PM

Senator Nelson-NE: (2:18 PM)
  • Spoke in favor of the Gerrard nomination.
    • SUMMARY "He's consistently received top ratings by the Nebraska State Bar Association in its biennial judicial evaluations. Particularly in the areas of legal analysis, judicial temperament, and fair treatment of litigants and their lawyers. Furthermore, the Nebraska judicial system gave him its distinguished judge for improvement of judicial system award in 2006. This was in recognition of his work as co chair of the Systems Minority Justice Committee and the Interpreter Advisory Committee, as well as leading initiatives promoting racial and ethnic fairness under the law. Also in 2008, the Nebraska State Bar Foundation gave him its legal pioneer award. This was for making the courts more user friendly for citizens from all cultures by utilizing technology and other means to improve both understanding and participation in the courts. I note that on the Nebraska Supreme Court, Judge Gerrard has authored more than 450 opinions and he is widely considered a leader on that court. Judge Gerrard is held in the highest regarded by both the judge and the bar in Nebraska and the American Bar Association has deemed him "unanimously well-qualified" to serve as a U.S. District Judge. Judge Gerrard maintains the same even temperament off the bench as he does on the bench. Clearly he is an exemplary person who has contributed much to our society."

Senator Johanns: (3:44 PM)
  • Spoke in favor of the Gerrard nomination.
    • SUMMARY "Justice John Gerrard has experience, integrity, and respect for the Constitution, all of which are necessary for someone serving on our Federal bench. He has earned the respect and the admiration of the people of Nebraska. He consistently receives top ratings from the Nebraska State Bar Association and the people of Nebraska have their confidence in him not once, not twice, but three times, voting to retain him on the bench. Justice Gerrard has authored hundreds of opinions throughout his 16 years as a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court. These decisions reveal with clarity his philosophy regarding the powers and the limitations of a judge. They reflect his commitment to adhere to the Constitution and the laws of our great nation. When asked about judicial restraint after his nomination to the U.S. District Court, Justice Gerrard responded, "I firmly believe that a judge should rely on the admissible evidence and applicable law, and nothing else when rendering a decision." He further responded, "I do not believe a judge should consider his or her own values or policy preferences in determining what the law means and I've never done so at any time in my judicial career.""