WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) spoke on the Senate Floor in advance of the Senate’s vote to confirm Margaret Strickland of Las Cruces to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico. Earlier this year, Senator Heinrich and U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) recommended that President Joe Biden nominate Strickland for this seat, which is based in Las Cruces.
Senator Heinrich’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.
I’m pleased that the Senate will soon be voting on the confirmation of Margaret Strickland, President Biden’s nominee to be a District Court Judge for the District of New Mexico.
Ms. Strickland was born and raised in the Southwest border region where this District Court seat presides.
She attended New Mexico State University and the University of Texas at El Paso, before attending law school at New York University.
Ms. Strickland returned to the Southwest after law school and started her career with the Las Cruces Office of the New Mexico Public Defender, representing clients in the juvenile drug court and in felony defense work.
In 2011, Ms. Strickland formed her own law firm continuing her public service work representing indigent defendants in federal court.
Ms. Strickland has litigated both criminal and civil cases, including a significant number in the Federal District Court located in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
She’s also appeared before the New Mexico Court of Appeals, the New Mexico Supreme Court, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and filed before the United States Supreme Court.
Ms. Strickland served on the Board of New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers for over a decade, including as president.
In 2018, the Federal District of New Mexico appointed her to represent all Criminal Justice Act lawyers as a “panel representative.”
Ms. Strickland has also done significant volunteer work with programs that reduce the rate of euthanasia for companion animals.
She and her husband, Greg, foster dogs and puppies set for euthanasia so the dogs can be placed in a home.
If confirmed Ms. Strickland will be faced with one of the busiest federal dockets in the country and inherit a heavy backlog of cases.
I am confident that her experience and her incredible work ethic will best position her to immediately get to work.
Ms. Strickland is a highly qualified nominee with the right experience, temperament, and disposition to be a fair-minded District Court judge.
The ABA agrees, giving her a majority “Well Qualified” rating.
She has spent her entire professional career working in the community in which she will sit.
She knows intimately the impact the legal system has on every day Americans.
And she understands that serving as a judge is very different from serving as an advocate.
She is ready and prepared to shift from zealously and effectively representing clients to faithfully applying the law to the facts of a specific case.
Both before and after her nomination was announced, New Mexicans called my office in favor of Ms. Strickland.
I heard from judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and every day New Mexicans.
All of them called to say how much they believe in Ms. Strickland.
Like the New Mexicans who called in to my office, I believe Ms. Strickland belongs on the bench.
And I am ready to cast my vote and help her get there.
I enthusiastically support Ms. Strickland’s nomination for District Court Judge for the District of New Mexico.
And I hope that all of my colleagues will join me in confirming this highly qualified nominee.