(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) introduced Richard Jones before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Jones is a King County Superior Court Judge who the President has nominated to be a District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington State. Senator Murray helped select Judge Jones and strongly supports his confirmation.
Senator Murray's remarks introducing the judge follow:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Specter, and Members of the Committee. I am honored to introduce to the United States Senate a distinguished lawyer and King County Superior Court Judge from my home state – Richard Jones – a man who enjoys broad bipartisan support and who deserves a seat on the federal bench.
President Bush nominated Judge Jones to be a District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington State. He is an excellent choice. I'm proud to support him, and I'm pleased to welcome him before the Judiciary Committee. On this special day, Judge Jones is joined by his wife Leslie, his sister Teresa Frank, his niece Dana Frank-Looney, his sister Mardra Jay, and his brother-in-law Christopher Jay.
If you were to ask lawyers and judges in my home state about Judge Jones, here are some of the descriptions you would hear:
"He's admired by everyone in the justice system."
"He gives respect, and he gets respect."
"The test of one's performance is the way they handle the smaller cases. Richard displays precisely that same degree of sensitivity to all that appear before him."
One newspaper said that, "In his courtroom, Jones is known for making eloquent statements that express just the sort of values needed in a judge." The Seattle Times went on to say, "This is a lifetime appointment with no room for mistakes, and we believe there is no mistake here."
Mr. Chairman. I couldn't agree more. Judge Jones has handled some of the most difficult cases in Western Washington in the past decade, and he’s won the respect of everyone who’s come before him.
For example, he heard the murder charges against Gary Ridgway, also known as the "Green River Killer." Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first degree murder in 2003 and is one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. It would be a tough case for any judge, but Judge Jones earned praise for the sensitivity and dignity he showed for the victims of the Green River Killer.
As a result of that case and in recognition of his long service to Washington State, in 2004 Judge Jones received the "Judge of the Year Award" from the Asian Bar Association of Washington, the King County Bar Association, the Washington State Bar Association, and the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.
Both Senator Cantwell and I assisted the President in choosing Judge Jones from a list of very qualified candidates. When I met him, I was so impressed with his sensitivity, his professionalism, and his overall sense of fairness.
Throughout his career, Judge Jones has won high praise for his judicial demeanor and for the respect he shows all parties. He clearly meets the standards of fairness, even-handedness, and adherence to the law that we expect of our federal judges.
In terms of his personal background, he graduated from Seattle University and the University of Washington School of Law. In private practice, Richard Jones successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of civil cases. As a state and federal prosecutor, he had extensive experience prosecuting criminal cases. And most recently, as a full-time King County Superior Court Judge, Richard Jones has distinguished himself and won broad support. Since he was first appointed in 1994, the voters of King County have reelected him three times.
I know that I speak on behalf of a large number of the people in my state's legal and law enforcement community in saying that our federal bench will be stronger when Richard Jones is confirmed. So it's my pleasure to introduce this great lawyer and judge to the committee, to support his nomination and to help make him our newest Federal judge. I urge this committee to approve his nomination promptly, and I hope we can confirm Judge Jones before the full Senate quickly.