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The candidates who emerged from this process represent an excellent cross section of the community they will serve-attorneys from Government and private practice, men and women, blacks and whites, Republicans and Democrats. They range in age from 36 to 66. Should there be some question about age for persons at either end of this spectrum, it should be remembered that such prominent judges as Potter Stewart, Learned Hand, and Charles Wyzanski were first appointed in their thirties-Wyzanski at 35; and that Holmes, Brandeis, and Cardozo were appointed to the Supreme Court in their sixties.
I hope these remarks will provide the committee with a helpful picture of how the President made his appointments to the first unified court system in the District's history. I hope they will reflect the tremendous significance that we attach to the successful operation of these courts.
Now, I have the pleasure of introducing the nominees.
Vír. Hubert B. Pair,
Mr. J. Walter Yeagley. The CHAIRMAN. I wonder if the gentlemen would be kind enough to stand up.
Mr. KLEINDIENST. Yes. Would the rest of the nominees stand as I read your names?
The CHAIRMAN. We are delighted to welcome you.
Vr. KLEINDIENST. I will proceed more slowly, Mr. Chairman, so they can rise.
Miss Sylvia A. Bacon,
Mr. James A. Washington, Jr. The CHAIRMAN. I wonder if we could, Mr. Deputy Attorney General, ask all the judge nominees to stand at one time so the press can take a picture of them. (All nominees stood up.)
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, gentlemen, and we apologize for the inconvenience to you all, but in expediting the hearing and holding it in 1 day instead of 2, that was necessary. Mr. KLEINDIENST. We are very pleased, Mr. Chairman, that the
, committee has decided to review all these candidates today. This will permit the committee to report out the nominations and obtain confirmations by the Senate before its adjournment, on October 14. We sincerely hope that this is your objective.
Time is of the essence in this matter; for of the 18 nominees only Judge Hyde is now in a position to work on the challenge facing this city. Every day we delay means the loss of 17 judge-days in reducing the current backlog and preparing for the advent of the new court.
I think that we can all agree with your observation, Mr. Chairman, that there is a "crying need for immediate action.” The Department is most grateful for the committee's cooperation.
I am very appreciative of the opportunity to be here and for your courtesy this morning.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. I am interested in your statement that every day lost is a loss of 17 judge-days. Assuming we could, for the sake of argument, confirm these judges today and move them out of the Senate tomorrow, how many
furnished courtrooms do you
have for these 18 judges?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I don't have the answer to that. Probably not enough to accommodate them.
The CHAIRMAN. What steps have you taken to get these courtrooms ready? There are now two. If we confirm these 18 judges today, you would be ready for two of them tomorrow. What steps are you taking, or have you taken, to get the courtroom facilities ready, and when will they be ready?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. There will be courtrooms that are occupied by judges that would be available. When the new courtrooms will be available-I can't tell you.
The CHAIRMAN. You mean it is quite possible they would not be available at all?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. Getting the staff, in anticipation of the courtrooms available, would cut down on the amount of time it would take to get the judges effective in the administration of justice.
The CHAIRMAN. If we confirm them all today, and you don't have any courtrooms ready for them to go to work a month
Mr. KLEINDIENST. That is true. But I think there is time, Senator, for the judges to select their staff's, acquaint themselves with the nature of their duties so that when the courtrooms become available, then there would not be a further or additional delay in having them do the very things they have to do anyway.
The Chairman. Has the money been appropriated to support these new judges?
Mr. SANTARELLI. It is in a supplemental appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. Assuming we could confirm all 18 judges today, how long would the presently appropriated money last to pay their salaries?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I couldn't answer that question for you, Senator. The CHAIRMAN. Well, I can answer it-it will take about 4 weeks.
The point I am trying to make is that I believe in expedition, but if we move within 1 day here and these judges have to sit around cooling their heels waiting å month, or 2 months, for courtrooms and there isn't any money in the budget to pay them—that is not a good way to run a railroad.
What steps do you intend to take to get courtrooms for these judges? ? When are they going to be furnished?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. We intend to take the steps required to get the job done as quickly as we can, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. Why aren't they ready now? You take a strong position that if we delay a day here, it means 17 judge-days lost in
reducing the current backlog, and yet you are not even going to have courtrooms ready for more than two of them for another month. Mr. KLEINDIENST. It might be a little longer than that, Senator.
a The CHAIRMAN. It seems to me the Department of Justice has to move in the executive end to get the facilities and personnel ready to make the system work.
Mr. KLEINDIENST. All we can do is recommend to the District of Columbia government that this be done. The erection of court facilities and the details with respect to the physical facilities for the court system is not a direct responsibility of the Department of Justice. It is the responsibility of this administration to do everything it can to have the properly constituted authority in the District of Columbia get it done. But it is not a function of the Department of Justice, Senator.
Inasmuch as it is not a direct responsibility of ours, I think relevant and pertinent information in response to your request probably could be obtained from
The CHAIRMAN. You are not taking a position that an effective working, strong court system in the District of Columbia is not a responsibility of the Department of Justice, are you?
Nr. KLEINDIENST. It certainly is. It is the responsibility of the Department to recommend legislation, and for the administration to cooperate to get this kind of legislation enacted, but the administration of the court systems is not a responsibility of the Department of Justice.
The CHAIRMAN. What good is it if we get the judges confirmed in 1 day and you don't have any place for them to sit or work for another 2 months?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. If the judges are confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by the President, Senator, they are available to work immediately when facilities become available. I personally do not believe that in terms of the problems we have here that facilities, completely in place, are absolutely necessary:
The CHAIRÑAN. Couldn't you rent rooms in a building?
Senator Bible. Mr. Chairman, it occurs to me your questioning is very proper. Somebody somewhere must be able to supply an answer as to when the facilities are going to be available.
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I think Chief Judge Greene of the Court
Senator BIBLE. Perhaps we should hear from him as well. It seems to me it is a very proper question.
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I am sure he has elaborate plans.
Senator Bible. What we want to know, Mr. Kleindienst, is what are those plans?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I cannot tell you.
The CHAIRMAN. What steps has the Department taken to try to expedite the supplemental appropriation to pay the salaries, pay for the space, and pay for the operation of these courts?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. We have taken all steps we can with all our supplemental appropriations.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you contacted the chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives and asked him to expedite these funds?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I have not.
"The CHAIRMAN. Has anyone?
The CHAIRMAN. If every one of these judges were approved today under the present funding, they couldn't be paid after 4 weeks.
Now, Congress is going to be in recess in another week. It would seem to me that somebody in the Department of Justice, either you or the Attorney General, ought to be meeting with the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, to try and expedite the funds so we can get this whole court system moving.
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I think the District of Columbia government, Chief Judge Greene, and anyone having an interest in bringing this about should use any influence or interest they have to bring that about, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to contact the House Subcommittee on Appropriations?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. The Department of Justice will, and if it is necessary for me to, that will be done, too, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kleindienst, two of the nominations are to fill judgeships which have been vacant for more than a year. Why did you wait for 13 months to nominate judges to fill these vacancies?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. They were being filled, and those two positions were being served by the two incumbent judges: Judge Kronheim and Judge Hyde. So the work of the court was proceeding, and also so those appointments contain no consideration with respect to the processing of the candidates for the new court.
There was no backlog, or there was no delay occasioned in the court's work as a result of that delay, because both were incumbent judges and have been presiding in those courts.
The CHAIRMAN. One of the nominations is to fill a vacancy created by the death of the Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court more than 5 months ago. You know the Juvenile Court has the worst backlog and the worst crime problem. Why did you wait 5 months to fill that vacancy?
Mr. KLIENDIENST. Senator, we knew if the Congress had passed a court reorganization plan, that we were going to change the whole basic approach of selection, and as I have enumerated in my statement, by having the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Judiciary participate in the determination of qualifications of all the judges, we likewise wanted to apply that standard to the Juvenile Court, and views in terms of the administration of the program, consistent with this new approach, and the decision was made to have that specific delay, so it could be processed in that manner.
The CHAIRMAN. That is 150 judge-days we have lost.
The CHAIRMAN. As I told you several years ago, when you testified before the Judicial Improvements Subcommittee, one of my criticisms of the Johnson administration was that they waited too long to fill nominations, or vacancies, in the Federal courts. At that time you appeared to agree that the administration ought not to wait when they knew there was going to be a vacancy. Now there is an omnibus judgeship bill about to be passed. We ought to try to move ahead on these judgeships as well.
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I remember the dialog we had, Senator. I think the facts will show that this administration has moved expeditiously and has appointed more Federal judges, of any kind, in a shorter period of time than any administration in the history of the participation of the Department of Justice in the selection and recommendation of Federal judges. I would be happy to provide you with that information and to show you the record of this administration.
Generally speaking, it grew out of our dialog and I think you will be amazed at the statistics that our study has revealed.
The CHAIRMAN. The Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of the District of Columbia requires that all District of Columbia judges retire at the age of 70. This means that one of your nominees today would necessarily retire in 3 years after he is seated.
Another would have to retire 6 years after he is seated. Another 9 years after he is seated. These three would serve just a small part of their 15-year terms.
Isn't it apparent that that span of time that these nominees can serve is really too short a period to learn a difficult job and make really substantial contributions?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I don't think it is apparent, Senator, when you take a look at the background and qualifications of the three gentlemen who have been recommended by the Attorney General and nominated by the President for the court of appeals. You have in Mr. Pair and Mr. Reilly and Mr. Yeagley three men who, as a result of a lifetime of dedicated practice of law
The CHAIRMAN. Have any of these men ever been a judge before?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. No, they haven't, Senator, but they bring to it a wealth of knowledge. Mr. Pair has probably argued more appellate cases than any two or three lawyers combined in this city. Mr. Reilly has a distinguished career as an author, as an attorney, as a framer of legislation; and Mr. Yeagley's experience in the Government of the United States speaks for itself.
This court is going to be the new supreme court, in effect, of the District of Columbia. It is going to formulate the basic rule of law, the concept of stare decisis and a whole new approach to the law in the District of Columbia. The President of the United States and the Attorney General felt that at least at the very outset that the initial appointees should be men of vast experience, men of stature, so that they will bring to this process of formulation on this new court the highest concept and traditions of the law.
I would think that Mr. Pair's three and a half years on this new court would probably be one of the most significant contributions that any person from his community could make to a significant court of this kind in a short period of time.
a The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kleindienst, how many Federal judges do we have in office throughout the Nation now?
Mr. KLEINDIENST. I couldn't give you that number.
The CHAIRMAN. There are in excess of 500, to refresh your recollection.
How many of those Federal judges were over 60 when they were appointed by the President?
Vlr. KLEINDIENST. I couldn't give you the answer.