Former William Kayatta has been on the job for a few weeks now, but Friday May 24 was the official event welcoming him to the First Circuit. It was a lovely event.
The whole active court showed up, along with senior Judge Lipez and the Circuit's sixth man off the bench, Justice Souter (as I've noted before we are very, very lucky to have him come sit the first quarter of each year and I hope this continues ad infinitum).
All speaking praised Senator Collins for pushing this appointment through, which despite the fact that no one did or could have any objection nevertheless took years to accomplish and may never had happened without her terrier-like tenacity. That Judge Kayatta is a Democrat mattered nothing to Senator collins (or Senator Snowe, who also supported him) - he was going to make a terrific judge and that was all that mattered. If only some other folks up there in Washington would show a little more can-do, bipartisan spirit ….
In any event, Senator Collins gave an excellent speech describing this process (she's great on this type of explanation. I heard her give an hour speech – twice – on how she got the don't ask, don't tell policy expunged, and it was riveting both times. That one would make a great book – although I think she's a little busy).
Next Reps. Michaud and Pingree spoke (Senator King sent his regrets), followed by Peter DeTroy, who chaired the comittee that the Representatives had created to select nominees to offer the President. This was followed by CJ Saufley, not only representing the state side of the fence, but who was Judge Kayatta's friend in high school and as always, gave a great and amusing speech about those years. Next came our own Ralph Lancaster, to talk about his days here at PA. Finally, Judge Kayatta, properly sworn in publicly by CJ Lynch and robed by his family, spoke.
There wasn't a clunker speech in the bunch. It's nice to go to an event where everyone is happy because something good has happened in the legal community. He's going to be a very, very good judge. Congratulations to Judge Kayatta, kudos to those who worked to make this happen, especially Senator Collins, and to all present who gave snappy, on point presentations.
And now, Judge Kayatta, comes the hard work.