Pryor: Baker Will Serve the Eastern District of Arkansas with Distinction

During today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor testified on behalf of Kristine Baker of Little Rock, nominee for the U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. 

Senator Mark Pryor and the Baker Family

Below is Pryor’s prepared testimony:

I would like to thank Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley and members of the Committee for allowing me to introduce Kris G. Baker.  I would also like to thank the family and friends of Kris who have made the trip to Washington, DC to be with her on this special day.  Thank you all for being here.

I am honored to sit before you today and recommend Kris for confirmation as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Throughout the confirmation process, I believe this Committee will come to understand why Kris has earned a reputation in legal circles and around the state of Arkansas as a hard worker and brilliant lawyer.

While this Committee has seen more than its share of polarizing nominees, you will find Kris is not. She is well respected for her extensive experience in civil matters and has a strong commitment to a fair, impartial legal system.

I have a three-pronged approach when considering judges. First, is the the person qualified? Second, do they have the proper judicial temperament? Third, do they have the ability to be fair and impartial? As you learn more about this candidate, I believe you will also find that she meets and exceeds these criteria.

Currently a partner at the law firm Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow in Little Rock, she specializes in commercial, employment, and First Amendment litigation.  Kris joined the firm as an associate in 2000 and became a partner in 2002.  Previously, she worked at the law firm Williams & Anderson from 1998 to 2000.  She began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan Webber Wright of the United States District Court for the Eastern District from 1996 to 1998.  Kris earned her law degree with honors from the University Of Arkansas School Of Law and her B.A. from the Saint Louis University in 1993.

I have reviewed Kris’ work and have been impressed with her record. I am not alone. She has been recognized as one of Chambers and Partners’ America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; named a Rising Star by Mid-South Super Lawyers; and listed with The Best Lawyers in America, the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers  and Arkansas Business’ Forty Under 40.

Character and integrity is also important. Kris has done extensive pro bono work, representing clients in a variety of cases through the Pulaski County Bar Association’s Volunteer Organization Center for Arkansas Legal Services (“VOCALS”) and helping elderly and sick prisoners receive proper medical care.

I am confident Kris will serve the Eastern District of Arkansas with distinction.