Alexander Recommends U.S. District Court Judge Nominees Chuck Atchley and Katherine Crytzer to Senate Judiciary Committee

Posted on November 18, 2020

“The Senate should confirm judicial nominees with good character, good temperament, high intelligence, and a high respect for the law. Mr. Atchley and Ms. Crytzer possess these qualities, and I hope they will be quickly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmed by the Senate.” – Sen. Lamar Alexander 

MARYVILLE, Tennessee, November 18, 2020 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced the president’s two nominees, Chuck Atchley and Katherine Crytzer, at their confirmation hearing to serve as U.S. District Court Judges for the Eastern District of Tennessee before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The Senate’s constitutional power to advice and consent on presidential nominations is one of the Senate’s best known and most important responsibilities,” Alexander said. “Lately, the Senate has been taking one week to confirm five nominations, but it wasn’t so long ago that most federal district judges and most presidential nominees were promptly approved by voice vote. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, several of us worked together in a bipartisan way and changed the Senate rules to speed up confirmations. Our agreement soon fell apart. What we needed was not a change of rules, but a change of behavior. Now would be a good time to change that behavior and get the confirmation process back on track.”

On Chuck Atchley: “Chuck Atchley’s roots in East Tennessee go back to 1785 when Thomas Atchley settled in what is now Sevier County, and he has spent nearly 20 years working on behalf of East Tennesseans in the federal court system. There is no more widely respected and experienced federal prosecutor in East Tennessee,” Alexander said. “He has tried more than 100 cases and is now the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. I have spoken to all of the judges in the Eastern District, and they all gave him high recommendations. I have found that Mr. Atchley’s nomination is supported by his colleagues, his superiors and even his opposing counsel.”

On Katherine Crytzer: “I would also like to express my support for Katherine Crytzer. Ms. Crytzer is an East Tennessee native and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, summa cum laude. Ms. Crytzer has served for the last six years at the Justice Department. She is currently the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy, and, before that, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Crytzer will be the second woman to be a federal district judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee. She will serve Tennessee and the country well.”

Alexander concluded: “There are currently two vacancies in the Eastern District of Tennessee and caseloads are rising quickly. According to the Federal Court Management Statistics, the Eastern District’s criminal docket is the 17th largest in the United States. The Senate should confirm judicial nominees with good character, good temperament, high intelligence, and a high respect for the law. Mr. Atchley and Ms. Crytzer possess these qualities, and I hope they will be quickly approved by the committee and confirmed by the Senate.”

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