Alexander: Mark Norris Will Be a Tremendous Asset to the Federal Bench

Posted on November 1, 2017

***Click HERE for video of Sen. Alexander’s remarks.***

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 1, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris at his confirmation hearing to be a U.S. District Judge for Tennessee’s Western District before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

“It is my special and personal pleasure to introduce Senator Norris to the committee today. ..I want to take this opportunity to express my strong support for his nomination,” Alexander said. “He knows what a Senate is because he serves in one -- he is the majority leader of the Tennessee State Senate. He knows what a Judiciary Committee is because he was once vice chairman of one in the Tennessee State Senate.

Alexander continued, “He is respected by his peers around the country, having been elected chairman of the Council of State Governments, and has been an advocate and a champion for federalism and for the separation of powers. He is a citizen, a lawyer and a legislator, and I have known him for many years -- since I was the governor of Tennessee.

“Mark Norris will be a tremendous asset to the federal bench, in my opinion. Tennessee is fortunate President Trump nominated such a well-qualified nominee.”

After President Trump announced Norris’ nomination on July 13, Alexander said, “Tennessee will be well-served by a man of such good character and good temperament.” 

Alexander’s full remarks are below and video is available here.

Thank you Mr. Chairman. Let me say, I’m glad I had the opportunity to be here today and hear both the chairman and ranking member. I thought I was back at New York University Law School in a class on legal process taught by two distinguished faculty members so I’m to hear both of you.

Chairman Sasse, Ranking Member Whitehouse, Senator Grassley, thank you for holding this important hearing to consider the nomination of State Senator Mark Norris to be the District Court Judge for Tennessee’s Western District.

It is my special and personal pleasure to introduce Senator Norris to the committee today.

His background is well known to the committee, so I won’t go into extensive detail, but I want to take this opportunity to express my strong support for his nomination.

He knows what a Senate is because he serves in one. He is the majority leader of the Tennessee State Senate. He knows what a Judiciary Committee is because he was once vice chairman of one in the Tennessee State Senate.

He is respected by his peers around the country, having been elected chairman of the Council of State Governments, and has been an advocate for and a champion for federalism and for the separation of powers. He is a citizen, a lawyer and a legislator, and I have known him for many years -- since I was the Governor of Tennessee.

He is a graduate of Colorado College, the University of Denver College of Law, but he has lived in West Tennessee since 1980. 

He is currently, as I said, the majority leader of our state Senate, a position he has had for 10 years.

He was first elected to the Senate in 2000, having been on the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

Much of his time in the Tennessee General Assembly has been spent dealing with some of the same challenges that this committee and that this Senate deals with here: criminal justice reform, juvenile justice reform, elder abuse, education reform. Those have all been subjects to his attention. 

In addition to his public service, he works as Special Counsel in the Memphis office of Adams and Reese, and he and wife Chris and four generations of family some of them are here today -- live on a working farm in Shelby County.

Mark Norris will be a tremendous asset to the federal bench, in my opinion. Tennessee is fortunate that President Trump chose to nominate him. 

I urge the members of the committee to support his nomination so he can be quickly considered by the full Senate.

Finally, I would like to take a moment to thank White House Counsel Don McGahn, and his staff for their professionalism throughout this process. I greatly appreciate the time they have put in to ensure this vacancy was filled with such a high caliber individual.

Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman.