Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today delivered the following statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Arizona District Court nominees:
"Senator Hirono, thank you for your kind words.
"I would also like to thank Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Grassley for their hard work in bringing these well-qualified nominees to the Committee for its consideration today. With my friend from Arizona, Senator Flake, I am honored and pleased to introduce them to you now.
“Today is a great day for Arizona. You will be hearing today from six nominees to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. As this Committee knows, this is a court that has been under great strain recently. While it has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten busiest courts in the country, it has been strained by a series of recent vacancies. Of the 13 authorized judgeships in this court, six are currently vacant. For that reason, the District of Arizona has been declared a ‘judicial emergency.’
"To fill those longstanding vacancies, I considered the views of a non-partisan judiciary evaluation commission, and the President ultimately nominated a diverse and historic slate of state court judges, former prosecutors and other fine Arizona citizens. Whether in combat zones overseas; among some of Arizona’s great Native-American tribes; or in court rooms zealously advocating the interests of the people within their communities, each of these nominees have shown, in their own unique way, that they understand what it means to serve. Each also understands the magnitude of the commitment they would undertake, if they are confirmed – to do justice. And, each has evidenced the judicial temperament and professional demeanor needed to serve on the bench ably and with integrity.
"With this in mind, it is my honor to introduce you to, first, Judge Steven Paul Logan, who is nominated to the District of Arizona, Phoenix Division. Judge Logan currently serves as magistrate judge on that court. For over a decade, Judge Logan was an Assistant United States Attorney, where he prosecuted a wide range of cases ranging from immigration violations to murder-for-hire and public corruption. During that time, he served three tours with the Marine Corps in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we originally crossed paths during my visit to Fallujah in 2007. During those deployments, Judge Logan served as Senior Defense Counsel and Senior Legal Mentor to the Afghan National Army, among others. Judge Logan’s service to our country continues today; he is currently a Colonel and serves on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. Judge Logan’s experience as a military trial judge, immigration judge, and federal magistrate judge uniquely qualify him to serve as an Article 3 judge in the District of Arizona.
"Second is John Joseph Tuchi, who is also been nominated to the District of Arizona in Phoenix. After law school, Mr. Tuchi clerked for Judge William Canby of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In private practice, he gained experience in intellectual property and complex commercial litigation, as well as appellate law. As a career federal prosecutor in Arizona, Mr. Tuchi has spent his life fighting on the side of victims and currently serves as Chief Assistant United States Attorney. His dedication to public service, extensive trial experience and practice before federal courts will prove valuable if he is confirmed to the federal district court in Arizona.
"It has been said that the Arizona bench ‘would be enriched by a member who reflects the community it serves.’ With that in mind, I am particularly excited about our third nominee, Diane J. Humetewa, also to the District of Arizona, in Phoenix. Ms. Humetewa’s nomination is truly historic: Being a member of the Hopi Nation, if Ms. Humetewa is confirmed, she would be the first Native American woman to ever serve on the federal bench. Ms. Humetewa’s service to the Hopi Nation, which includes work as prosecutor and an appellate court judge to the tribe, runs deep and has remained a cornerstone of her career. She is also a long-time advocate for victim’s rights, which can be traced back to her service as a victim advocate before she attended law school. During law school, Ms. Humetewa spent a semester working as an intern on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and, after law school, returned to D.C. to work on my staff on that committee – this time as deputy counsel. Her distinguished career at the Department of Justice includes work as a special assistant to the Office of Tribal Justice. In 2007, I recommended her for nomination as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, where she served for two years with distinction. Today, Ms. Humetewa works as special advisor and counsel at Arizona State University.
"Fourth, I would like to introduce you to Rosemary Marquez. Ms. Marquez, who is nominated as district judge to the Tucson Division, has worked as a prosecutor and a public defender in Pima County and later as a federal public defender. Since 2000, she has worked in private practice, with a focus on federal criminal defense. Ms. Marquez’s extensive experience in border districts and her Hispanic heritage will be invaluable assets to the federal court in Tucson, where a large portion of the docket is devoted to immigration-related issues.
"Our fifth nominee is Judge Douglas Rayes, nominated to the federal court in Phoenix. Judge Rayes currently serves as a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, a position he has held since 2000. At that court, he has presided over thousands of cases in family law, criminal law, and complex civil litigation. He has also held a number of leadership positions devoted to training and equipping fellow judges and improving processes in the court. Judge Rayes has an impressive background handling personal injury, medical malpractice cases, and police disciplinary matters during his 18 years in private practice, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex matters.
"Finally, I’d like to introduce you to Judge James Alan Soto, who is nominated as district judge to the Tucson Division. He gained extensive experience in private practice on a diverse array of cases ranging from criminal defense to civil litigation and commercial law. He ran his own practice for much of that time. As a native of Nogales, Arizona; a deputy city attorney for border communities; and as a long-time judge in Santa Cruz County, Judge Soto has extensive experience in the legal issues unique to our border, including cases involving immigration, drug trafficking, and various aspects of the 4th and 5th Amendments. Judge Soto’s ability to understand the very real implications of immigration law on those who live and work on the Mexico-Arizona border will be of great value to the federal bench in Arizona.
"These are, of course, only snapshots of each of these nominees and their backgrounds. No remarks can do these nominees, their integrity or their potential to serve ably and with distinction on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, service. But, I hope my remarks are helpful. And, I thank these nominees and their families for their willingness to continue serving the nation – this time, in the federal judiciary. With that, I commend them to you for your consideration and encourage their swift confirmation by the full Senate.