ICAS Special Contribution


Statement of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch
before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
on the nomination of Grace Chung Becker
to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

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Biographic Sketch & Links: Orrin G. Hatch

[Editor's note: We gratefully acknowledge the special contribution of this paper
with written permission to ICAS of Orrin G. Hatch. sjk]

Statement of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch
before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
on the nomination of Grace Chung Becker
to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

First of all, let me thank Senator Leahy, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, for scheduling this hearing as well as you, Senator Kennedy, for chairing the hearing today.

I am proud to introduce to the Committee Grace Chung Becker, an outstanding nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
I will take just a few minutes to introduce her both professionally and personally.

Grace is currently the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and has helped lead the Civil Rights Division since 2006, first as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.S. from the Wharton School of Finance, each of them magna cum laude.

She received her J.D. from Georgetown, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.
By the way, she also received that degree magna cum laude.

I think I see a pattern here.

With the exception of one year as an associate with the well-known law firm of Williams and Connolly, Grace has spent her career in public service in all three branches of government.

She clerked for U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and U.S. Circuit Judge James Buckley, both here in the District of Columbia.

Grace has served in the Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division, a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General.
Her executive branch tenure also includes serving as Associate General Counsel of the Department of Defense

Before returning to the Justice Department, Grace served for six years as Assistant General Counsel of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

It was during that period that she was detailed here to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she served as a counsel when I chaired the committee during the 108th Congress.

I believe that 15 current members of the committee were here at that time and will no doubt remember Grace's excellent work and dedication.
So, Mr. Chairman, Grace has served in all three branches of the federal government and already has extensive experience at the Department of Justice, including service in the very position to which she has been nominated.

Turning from the professional to the personal, Grace was born in New York City, the first person in her family to be born in the United States.

Her parents, both naturalized American citizens, and Grace's three siblings are all entrepreneurs in the New York/New Jersey area.
I understand that her extended family is here to support her today
Grace's parents showed her the importance of hard work by their consistent example, and she followed their advice that education is critical to success.

As a result, Grace is living the American dream and reaping the fruit of character, hard work, education, and integrity.

She and her husband Brian have been married since 1994 and have two children, who are also here today.

Grace has always been proud of her Korean heritage and has served on the Board of the Korean-American Coalition and on the Fairfax County School Board's Human Rights Advisory Committee.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, let me add a more personal word.

I have been blessed during my 31 years in this body to have had many able, smart, and dedicated staff.

But I want to say, with no disrespect intended for anyone else, that Grace is one of the best.

Her energy, intelligence, integrity, and the quality of her character led me to really rely on her, to trust her judgment, when she worked on my staff.

Her work here in the Senate here truly enhanced the quality of our service to the American people.

I was sad to see her leave here, but confident that she would bring the same qualities to the Department of Justice.

She has not disappointed me.

I know that the Department of Justice in general, and the Civil Rights Division in particular, have generated some controversy in the last few years.

I hope that, as we move to approve new leadership there, we can focus on the fine person before us.

I have no doubt that anyone who looks at her considerable merit will see that all Americans are fortunate to have her there.

Her background, education, experience, and character make this one of President Bush's best appointments.

I hope we can complete the confirmation process and give her the unanimous vote of confidence that she deserves.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

This page last updated 7/9/2008 jdb

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