May 01, 2014

Nominations Of George Hazel And Theodore Chuang

Mr. CARDIN. I rise in support of the nominations of George Hazel and Theodore Chuang to be U.S. district judges for the District of Maryland.

   Let me say from the beginning that I am very proud of the manner in which Senator Mikulski, the senior Senator from Maryland, and I have established a process to review and make recommendations to the President for the vacancies in the U.S. District of Maryland.

   We have used a process that we think works. It gets us the most qualified individuals, and these two today are certainly an example of highly qualified individuals who want to be judges for the right reasons. They have a demonstrated track record of public service.

   I particularly appreciate their commitment to pro bono. They understand that the courts need to be open to all and that we have a special responsibility as lawyers and as judges to make sure that there is equal access to justice. They understand the appropriate role of a judge in our system to be objective and to carry out the laws of this land.

   George Jarrod Hazel received his B.A. cum laude in 1996 from Morehouse College and his J.D. in 1999 from Georgetown University Law Center. He was nominated to fill the vacancy created by the taking of senior status in May of 2013 by Judge Alexander Williams, Jr.

   I might just say Judge Williams had a very distinguished record on the district court.

   Mr. Hazel began his legal career in private practice from 1999 to 2004. He then became a government prosecutor as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia from 2005 to 2008.

   He then joined the Greenbelt, MD, U.S. attorney's office for the District of Maryland. Finally, Mr. Hazel joined the office of the State's attorney for Baltimore City and now serves as the chief deputy State's attorney.

   I can attest that being the chief deputy State's attorney in Baltimore City is a demanding position. In his present job, Mr. Hazel helps to oversee 200 prosecutors and 200 support staffers, and he has fought tirelessly to keep our communities safe and make them safer. In fact, he has played a key role in achieving those objectives.

   He has demonstrated in his entire career as a lawyer a commitment to public service in each of the positions that he has held. He wants to serve the public, and these are the types of people I would hope we would like to see in our district court.

   Mr. Hazel has extensive Federal and State court litigation experience, including civil and criminal matters, as well as jury trials. He has served as a prosecutor, private attorney, and manager of a large legal office.

   Mr. Hazel lives in North Potomac with his wife and two children. He is an active member of his community. He is a leader in the Metropolitan Baptist Church of Largo, MD, and in Washington, DC, and has served as a member, trustee, and now as a deacon.

   In terms of his pro bono commitment, Mr. Hazel has been president of his church's legal ministry, where he has assisted members of the church, including many who could not afford lawyers, in obtaining legal representation when they are in need.

   He also prepares meals at the church and teaches Sunday school classes.

   Mr. Chuang was nominated to fill the vacancy created by Judge Roger Titus when he took senior status in January of this year.

   Judge Titus had a very distinguished record and continues to have a very distinguished record in our district court.

   Mr. Chuang received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1994 from Harvard Law School and his B.A. summa cum laude in 1991 from Harvard University. He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1994 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Chuang served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. From 1998 to 2004, Mr. Chuang served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Massachusetts. He spent 3 years in private practice from 2004 to 2007.

   He served as a deputy chief investigative counsel for the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2007 to 2009. In 2009 he became the chief investigative counsel for the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives. Mr. Chuang currently serves as deputy chief counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he has worked since 2009.

   Like Mr. Hazel, Mr. Chuang has devoted his entire professional career to serving the public. He is very much interested in helping this community and, again, he is the type of individual I hope we would all like to see in our district court.

   Mr. Chuang has extensive Federal court litigation experience, both civil and criminal cases, including jury trials. He has served in all three branches of government: as clerk, law clerk, congressional investigative counsel, and agency deputy general counsel. The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary gave him a ``well qualified'' rating. You can see that he has the type of experience and type of sensitivity to understand the appropriate role of a district court judge.

 Mr. Chuang lives in Bethesda with his wife and his two children. He is an energetic member of his community. In terms of his pro bono work, he has served on the board of directors of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit legal services organization that serves low-income, limited-English proficient Asian Americans and immigrants in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, and which provides legal representation and referral services in cases involving domestic violence, family law, immigration law, employment law, and a variety of other areas.

   Mr. Chuang also told us that from approximately 2002 to 2003, as president of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts, he oversaw and promoted a project of the organization's Community Service Committee to provide a pro bono legal workshop in Boston's Chinatown, at which attorneys provided general information about immigration law, employment law, and other areas of law that may affect the lives of area residents.

   He is committed to helping his community, and he has demonstrated that during his entire professional career.

   Mr. Chuang's parents emigrated from Taiwan to the United States seeking freedom and opportunity. I would note that if confirmed, Mr. Chuang would not only be the first Asian-American Federal judge in Maryland but also the first Asian-American Federal judge in the Fourth Circuit, covering five States in the Mid-Atlantic and South.

   President Obama nominated these two individuals in September of 2013 and the Judiciary Committee held their confirmation hearings in December of 2013. The Judiciary Committee then favorably reported both nominations in January of this year.

   I urge the Senate to confirm these very well-qualified nominees and fill these important vacancies to better serve the people of Maryland.