(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, by a vote of 94-0, the U.S. Senate confirmed Lonny Suko as the new U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Washington state. Senator Murray, who worked with the Bush Administration to select Lonny Suko for this position, also testified on his behalf at a June 25th Senate Confirmation hearing. Murray spoke on the Senate floor just before the vote.

Murray’s remarks follow:

“Mr. President, I rise in support of the nomination of Lonny Suko, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Washington State.

Mr. President, Lonny Suko is a distinguished lawyer and U.S. Magistrate Judge from Washington State. I’m honored to support his confirmation as a District Court Judge. He was unanimously reported out of the full Judiciary Committee on July 10th.

Judge Suko has strong bi-partisan support – and for good reason. He has handled some of the most difficult cases in Eastern Washington in the past decade, and he’s won the respect of everyone who’s come before him. That’s one of the reasons why Judge Suko enjoys such strong support from a diverse group of attorneys and community leaders in Washington state.

Both Senator Cantwell and I assisted the President in choosing him from a list of very qualified candidates.

Lonny Suko has spent his life living and serving Eastern Washington. He is a graduate of my alma mater, Washington State University, and of the University of Idaho School of Law. He has had a distinguished career as a lawyer and a U.S. Magistrate Judge. In private practice, Lonny Suko had a successful practice defending both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of tort, contract, creditor-debtor, and public sector cases. He has also distinguished himself as a U.S. Magistrate Judge – serving part-time from 1971 to 1991, and full time since 1991.

As I mentioned, Judge Suko handled some of the most challenging cases in recent history in Eastern Washington. He heard the injury and death claims of more than two dozen plaintiffs who were victimized by a gunman at Fairchild Air Force Base in the early 1990's. He was involved in several other high profile settlements. In all of those cases, Judge Suko won high praise for his judicial demeanor, his fairness and his respect for all parties.

Judge Suko clearly meets the standards of fairness, even-handedness, and adherence to the law that we expect of our federal judges. Outside of his many professional credentials, I’ve met with him, and I’ve been impressed by his professionalism and decency. Therefore, it is my pleasure to support for confirmation to the federal bench such a great lawyer and judge who I believe will make an exceptional Federal judge. He has served the people of our state well. I urge my colleagues to support his nomination.

I yield the floor.”