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Legal Progress Toolkit: Sample Press Release on Vacancy Announcement

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Senators Seek Qualified Candidates to Fill Three Federal Judicial Vacancies in Texas 

Texans for a Fair Judiciary urges selection of fair and impartial judicial candidates

October 1, 2012

CONTACT: Matt Quinn, 555-555-6219,

AUSTIN – U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are accepting applications for three judicial vacancies in federal district courts in the Eastern District of Texas in Texarkana, the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi and the Western District of Texas in San Antonio. Texans for a Fair Judiciary encourages our senators to suggest to the president judicial candidates who are fair and impartial and to move the nominees through the process quickly.

“Our federal courts hear cases on issues important to each and every Texan – from appeals on social security to employment rights to determining individuals’ constitutional rights,” said Matt Quinn, executive director of Texans for a Fair Judiciary. “We need to fill these judicial vacancies with qualified, fair-minded judges as quickly as possible and to do this, we must ensure we have a broad and diverse pool of applicants for consideration. The longer we go without filling these vacancies, the longer justice will be denied for the people of Texas.”

While it seems the president drives the judicial nomination process, in fact, home state senators really control much of the process. If a vacancy, on either an appellate or district court falls within a senator’s state, that senator can make recommendations to the president for nominees, and in recent years, that recommendation has carried a great deal of weight.

Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn have established a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas to help identify the most qualified candidates to fill these vacancies. This panel, known as the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, will review applications, interview candidates and make recommendations to the senators. Qualified attorneys who seek appointment should submit their resumes and completed questionnaires to both lawmakers’ offices. Completed application packets must be received at the following email addresses no later than Nov. 1, 2012. Email is strongly recommended because of delays due to the enhanced security procedures involving Congressional mail.

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Attn: John Seale

U.S. Senator John Cornyn
Attn: Matthew Johnson

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a special series: Legal Progress Toolkit

For more from this series, click here