Floor and Committee Statements

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 -

Floor Statement on Beverly Martin

Wednesday, January 21, 2010

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Floor Statement on Beverly Martin
Remarks as Delivered on the Senate Floor

Mr. President, I am pleased to join my colleague Senator Chambliss to endorse the confirmation and hopefully unanimous confirmation of Judge Beverly Martin to the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. I thank President Obama for sending this nomination forward and for the consultation his people had with Senator Chambliss and myself. I thank Senator Leahy, chairman, and Ranking Member Sessions from Alabama of the Judiciary Committee for the diligence with which they approached this confirmation and the speed with which we have now brought it to the floor.

I am proud that the vote on Judge Martin today will be the first vote of the 2010 session of the Senate. As Senator Chambliss said, Judge Martin comes from a long, distinguished family of lawyers from middle Georgia. She comes to the bench with a balanced temperament and the evenhanded process that comes from growing up in middle Georgia and having respect for one's fellow man.

I don't know Judge Martin and did not know Judge Martin until she was nominated. I am not an attorney so I didn't have a lot to fall back on when I made my first judgment. I decided what I would do is what I always did in my 33 years of business. I figured you could always find out what was at the heart of someone by calling those who competed with them, other members of the same profession. So I called lawyers, judges, prosecutors around Georgia, friends I had, and said: Tell me what you know about Judge Beverly Martin. Without exception, every response was positive.

It was interesting. One district attorney said: I like her because she has the tenacity of a prosecutor. She was a prosecutor for the northern district of Georgia. I talked to a dear friend of mine who is on the Georgia Supreme Court who said she has the temperament for a judge. I talked to another practicing attorney, who had tried cases before her and had competed with her when she was a practicing attorney herself, who said: Johnny, she is tough. She is fair. But she has a passion for the law, a passion for doing what is right.

I don't think you can come up with a finer endorsement than those three quotes.

I also join Senator Chambliss in acknowledging and studying one's record. Some of her decisions I think have been outstanding. As a former prosecutor, she understands the dangers our law enforcement officers go through. She understands the value they serve. I think her ruling not to stay the execution of a murderer of a Columbus, GA policeman was absolutely the right decision. Her defense of the Georgia death penalty law as being constitutional was not only appropriate but right. Throughout all of her decisions, one thing is for sure: Whether you agreed or not, she gave it the thought and time necessary to make what she felt was the right decision.

In 2000, the Senate confirmed Judge Martin to the northern district court in Georgia. It did so unanimously. It is my hope that on this day the Senate once again will unanimously approve the confirmation of Judge Beverly Martin to the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.