Senator Lankford Delivers Floor Speech on Scott Palk, Push for Senate Rules Reform

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WASHINGTON, DC –Senator James Lankford (R-OK) spoke on the Senate floor today on the nomination of Scott Palk to be US District  Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. President Trump nominated Palk on May 8, 2017, and he was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on June 18, 2017. Palk was also nominated by President Obama in 2015. 


On Scott Palk:

Let me introduce you a little bit to Scott Palk… This is not a controversial nominee, and he will be a great judge for us, and he’ll also be a great judge in western Oklahoma. He currently serves as the Assistant Dean for students and the Assistant General Counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman, Oklahoma. A position he has held since 2011. He has the strong support of the president of the University of Oklahoma, who happens to be former Senator David Boren, a Democrat senator from this body, who is now leading the University of Oklahoma and has done that with great excellence for the past two decades. He is also strongly behind this nominee as well. Scott Palk joined the University of Oklahoma College of Law after 19 years of public service as a state and federal prosecutor. 

On reforming the Senate Rules:

The American people are frustrated with the block in timing on moving people, especially people with wide bipartisan support. No one understands why someone that President Obama nominated and President Trump nominated has to take up 30 hours of time on the floor on debate. When no one will really even debate him. And it’s certainly what the outcome will be. The American people are expecting us to actually debate and to engage in issues. So I recommend again to this body, let’s go back to the Harry Reid rule, two hours of debate for individuals like this in district courts, eight hours of debate for higher-tier courts, and 30 hours of debate for cabinet officials and the supreme court. We can do that again. We’ve done that in the past. And I’d recommend we move back to that not just for a single congressional body but a change in rules in the Senate so permanently we’re able to be more functional again. For a body that is dysfunctional can be fixed by its own members. Moving us to a functional set of rules. That’s what I would hope that we would achieve in the days ahead.