Senate votes to confirm two judicial nominations

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Torres was a “fair-minded woman with great integrity.” She added that she was glad to see another woman appointed to the bench because “diversity” in the courts is a necessary step, not just an “ideal” to aspire toward.

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Gillibrand said she hoped other pending judicial nominees would soon get votes.

That remark prompted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to say Democrats are crying "crocodile tears” since they have had more nominees confirmed than George W. Bush got at this same point in his presidency.

“I’m sick of these crocodile tears we’ve been hearing,” Grassley said. “So quit crying.”

The Senate also voted 94-0 to confirm Derrick Kahala Watson to be U.S. District Judge for Hawaii.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) praised Watson, saying he had “the qualifications, ability and temperament to be an outstanding judge for Hawaii.” Ahead of the vote, she also pointed out that once Watson is confirmed, the Hawaii district court would be the first U.S. court to have a majority of Asian pacific islanders sitting on the bench.