by Max Brantley
FROM SEN. MARK PRYOR
Senator Mark Pryor today introduced Judge Brian Miller to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Miller’s confirmation hearing to serve as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Following the hearing, the Judiciary Committee will schedule a vote on his nomination and determine whether the nomination will move forward to a full Senate vote. Miller was nominated by President Bush to replace the late Judge George Howard, Jr. in October 2007. Below are Senator Pryor’s prepared remarks:
I am honored to sit before you today and recommend Judge Brian Miller for confirmation as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Throughout the confirmation process, I believe this Committee will come to understand why Judge Miller has earned a reputation in legal circles and around the state of Arkansas as a qualified and fair judge. He has big shoes to fill following the service of the late Judge George Howard, Jr. I am confident, however, these shoes will fit Judge Miller well.
While this Committee has seen more than its share of polarizing nominees, you will find Judge Miller the exception. He brought integrity and impartiality to the bench while serving on the Arkansas Court of Appeals and earlier as a City Judge for both Holly Grove and Helena, Arkansas. His work as the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Phillips County has also been praised by the community.
Before practicing law in private practice for 9 years, Judge Miller earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School. He graduated with honors from the University of Central Arkansas and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas. Even before serving on the bench, Mr. Miller was serving our nation in the Navy and Navy Reserve from 1985-1992.
As you know, my background is rooted in the Arkansas Bar and legal community. As such, I have many friends and acquaintances – both personal and professional—who do not hesitate to give me advice and counsel regarding legal issues, especially concerning Federal Judgeships. When Judge Miller’s name began to circulate for this nomination, I only received praise from his colleagues. In fact, it is one of the few occasions when I did not hear a single person criticize his possible nomination. I never had the occasion to observe Judge Miller while I practiced; however, the outpouring of support from the Arkansas legal community was validation enough for me.
Since that initial observation, I have reviewed his work and have been impressed with his record. His breadth of experience in civil and criminal matters representing both sides of the law is extraordinary, and I know will serve him well on the Federal Bench. In my mind, Judge Miller has all the tools to be a great judge, and I believe members of this committee will also find this candidate exemplifies the proper credentials and temperament to do so.
FROM SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN
Washington – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas’s senior Senator, today introduced Judge Brian Miller to the Senate Judiciary Committee to open his nomination hearing. Miller has been nominated to replace the late Judge George Howard, Jr., as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Below is a copy of Lincoln’s remarks before the committee:
“Madam Chairman and members of the Judiciary Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon to introduce Brian Miller, who has been nominated to be a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
“As the senior Senator from Arkansas, I am pleased to support Mr. Miller for this important post. After reviewing his record and speaking with many of his friends and colleagues in Arkansas, I can assure the committee that Brian Miller is not only a superb lawyer and public servant, but also he is a trusted friend who is held in high regard by so many in our great state.
“Mr. Miller is a native of Helena, Arkansas, which also happens to be my hometown. After high school, Brian continued his education, graduating from the University of Central Arkansas in 1992. Not satisfied with only a baccalaureate degree, he continued his education by earning a law degree from Vanderbilt University. Brian also had the distinction of serving as one of the first interns for my office in the House of Representatives in the summer of 1993.
“Brian began his professional career up the Mississippi River in Memphis at the firm Martin Tate Morrow & Marston P.C. In 1998, Brian ran a successful campaign to be the City Attorney for his hometown of Helena. While he served as City Attorney, his father served as mayor. He continued to work part time with his firm in Memphis until January of 2007 when he was selected by Governor Mike Huckabee to be a State Appellate Judge.
“Throughout his career, Brian has been no stranger to the courtroom. In addition to the positions mentioned above, be also was appointed Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Phillips County. In fact, between January 1999 and January 2006, Brian spent three days a week, every week, in the courtroom either in his capacity as a prosecutor or on behalf of his clients. He has a reputation for being a tough but fair litigator who is a respected prosecutor and tireless advocate. He has received overwhelming support from the legal community around my state for his nomination.
“When evaluating life time appointments to the federal bench, I carefully consider a nominee’s skills, experience, intellect, and ability to understand and apply established precedent. Fundamentally, I am interested in knowing that a nominee can fulfill his responsibility under the Constitution to apply the law fairly without political favor or bias. I am fully satisfied Brian has met that standard.
“In closing, I want to thank Chairman Leahy and Senator Specter for working with Mr. Miller, my staff, and me in preparing for this hearing today. I appreciate your consideration of this nominee and encourage members of the committee to support his confirmation.”