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Sunday, May 7th, 2023

Last Week In Congress: How Cascadia’s U.S. lawmakers voted (May 1st-5th)

Good morn­ing! Here’s how Cascadia’s Mem­bers of Con­gress vot­ed on major issues dur­ing the leg­isla­tive week end­ing May 5th, 2023.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives was in recess.

In the United States Senate

Chamber of the United States Senate

The Sen­ate cham­ber (U.S. Con­gress photo)

ANTHONY DEVOS JOHNSTONE, APPEALS COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on May 1st con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Antho­ny Devos John­stone to be a judge on the U.S. Ninth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals. John­stone was a lawyer in New York from 1999 to 2004, then became suc­ces­sive­ly a lawyer in the Mon­tana Attor­ney Gen­er­al’s Office, the state’s solic­i­tor, and a law pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mon­tana. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Jon Tester, D‑Mont., cit­ed broad, bipar­ti­san sup­port for the nom­i­na­tion from Mon­tana offi­cials, and called John­stone “an excel­lent and impar­tial legal mind.” The vote, on May 1st, was 49 yeas to 45 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

MICHAEL FARBIARZ, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on May 2nd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Michael Far­biarz to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for New Jer­sey. Gen­er­al coun­sel for the Port Author­i­ty of New York and New Jer­sey since 2016, Far­biarz was pre­vi­ous­ly a New York City pri­vate prac­tice lawyer, fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor, and fel­low at New York Uni­ver­si­ty’s law school.

A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Robert Menen­dez, D‑New Jer­sey, said of Far­biarz: “Whether serv­ing in the lead­er­ship roles that he has had, enforc­ing our laws as a fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor, or pro­vid­ing legal coun­sel to those who serve on the Port Author­i­ty com­mis­sion, his breadth and depth of legal expe­ri­ence pre­pare him well to con­tin­ue his ser­vice to the Gar­den State as a fair and effec­tive fed­er­al judge.”

The vote, on May 2, was 65 yeas to 34 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

ROBERT KIRSCH, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on May 2nd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Robert Kirsch to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for New Jer­sey. Kirsch has been a coun­ty supe­ri­or court judge in New Jer­sey since 2010, and before that was a fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor for the New Jer­sey dis­trict. A sup­port­er, Sen. Robert Menen­dez, D‑New Jer­sey, said: “Through­out his tenure, Judge Kirsch has con­sis­tent­ly earned bipar­ti­san sup­port in his long and impres­sive career in pub­lic ser­vice.” The vote, on May 2, was 57 yeas to 42 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

ORELIA ELETA MERCHANT, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on May 3rd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Ore­lia Ele­ta Mer­chant to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the East­ern Dis­trict of New York.

Mer­chant was a fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor in the dis­trict from 2002 to 2019, then became New York’s Chief Deputy Attor­ney Gen­er­al. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Dick Durbin, D‑Illinois, called Mer­chant “a sea­soned lit­i­ga­tor whose exper­tise will be an asset to the East­ern Dis­trict of New York.” An oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Mar­sha Black­burn, R‑Tennessee, ques­tioned whether Mer­chant had an ade­quate under­stand­ing of judi­cial phi­los­o­phy. The vote, on May 3rd, was 51 yeas to 48 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

DUTIES ON SOLAR PANEL IMPORTS: The Sen­ate on May 3rd passed a res­o­lu­tion (H.J. Res. 39), spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bill Posey, R‑Florida, to dis­ap­prove of and void a Com­merce Depart­ment rule that would sus­pend duties on imports of solar pan­els that were assem­bled in South­east Asia and used com­po­nents made in China.

A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Sher­rod Brown, D‑Ohio, said Amer­i­can solar pan­el man­u­fac­tur­ers “need a lev­el play­ing field” and not allow­ing Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers to cir­cum­vent duties by assem­bling pan­els in near­by coun­tries would pro­tect them from ille­gal­ly sub­si­dized imports from China.

A res­o­lu­tion oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Jacky Rosen, D‑Nevada, said sus­pend­ing the duties was “a bridge that allows us to do both: keep our domes­tic solar indus­try alive while we invest and bol­ster our domes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing so that we can be com­pet­i­tive with Chi­na.” The vote was 56 yeas to 41 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Mike Crapo

Vot­ing Nay (1): Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Jim Risch

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Ron Wyden

Vot­ing Nay (1): Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 3 yea votes, 3 nay votes

ATTEMPTING TO VOID LESSER PRAIRIE-CHICKEN RULE: The Sen­ate on May 3rd passed a res­o­lu­tion (S.J. Res. 9), spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Roger Mar­shall, R‑Kansas, to dis­ap­prove of and void a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice rule putting pop­u­la­tions of the less­er prairie-chick­en on threat­ened and endan­gered species lists, with accom­pa­ny­ing envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions for chick­en habitat.

Mar­shall said the list­ing was unnec­es­sary because years of part­ner­ships with Fish and Wildlife have cre­at­ed mil­lions of acres of habi­tat for the less­er prairie-chick­en, and the list­ing would increase “the reg­u­la­to­ry bur­den on our farm­ers and ranch­ers, ulti­mate­ly, increas­ing the cost of food.” A res­o­lu­tion oppo­nent, Sen­a­tor Tom Carp­er, D‑Delaware, said: “Over­turn­ing this list­ing may well mean the per­ma­nent loss of an icon­ic Amer­i­can species. That would harm our planet.”

The vote, on May 3rd, was 50 yeas to 48 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

WESLEY L. HSU, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on May 3rd con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of Wes­ley L. Hsu to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the Cen­tral Dis­trict of Cal­i­for­nia. Hsu, a fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor in the dis­trict from 2000 to 2017, then became a judge on Los Ange­les Coun­ty’s supe­ri­or court.

The vote, on May 3, was 53 yeas to 43 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

LASHONDA HUNT, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Sen­ate on May 4th con­firmed the nom­i­na­tion of LaShon­da A. Hunt to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the North­ern Dis­trict of Illi­nois. A bank­rupt­cy judge in the dis­trict since 2017, Hunt was pre­vi­ous­ly a civ­il law lawyer in the U.S. attor­ney’s office for the dis­trict. A sup­port­er, Sen­a­tor Dick Durbin, D‑Illinois, cit­ed “her exten­sive expe­ri­ence, ded­i­ca­tion to pub­lic ser­vice and deep knowl­edge of the North­ern Dis­trict of Illi­nois.” The vote, on May 4, was 56 yeas to 41 nays.

The State of Idaho

Vot­ing Nay (2):
Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jim Risch and Mike Crapo

The State of Oregon

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley

The State of Washington

Vot­ing Yea (2):
Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Maria Cantwell and Pat­ty Murray

Cas­ca­dia total: 4 yea votes, 2 nay votes

ADDITIONAL SENATE VOTES: Along with the roll call votes this week, the Sen­ate also con­firmed the two fol­low­ing nom­i­nees by voice vote: Aman­da K. Brails­ford, to be a judge on the U.S. Dis­trict Court for Ida­ho; and Damien M. Dig­gs, to be the U.S. Attor­ney for the East­ern Dis­trict of Texas for a 4‑year term.

Edi­tor’s Note: The infor­ma­tion in NPI’s week­ly How Cas­ca­di­a’s U.S. law­mak­ers vot­ed fea­ture is pro­vid­ed by Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice. All rights are reserved. Repro­duc­tion of this post is not per­mit­ted, not even with attri­bu­tion. Use the per­ma­nent link to this post to share it… thanks!

© 2023 Tar­get­ed News Ser­vice, LLC. 

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for these post­ings. I find them very useful.

    # by Chris Thompson :: May 16th, 2023 at 1:22 PM
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