Biden nominates 10 more to federal bench, with continued focus on diversity

Biden nominates 10 more to federal bench, with continued focus on diversity
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Joe Biden on Thursday named 10 nominees to the federal bench, continuing his efforts to diversify the judicial branch with picks who would notch demographic firsts on their respective courts.

The eighth slate of federal judicial nominations brings Biden’s total to 53 nominees, nearly three-quarters of whom are women, a White House official told CNN. Fifteen of the nominees — more than a quarter of the total — are African American, while 21% are Hispanic and 23% are Asian American or Pacific Islanders (AAPI), the official said.

The White House said the latest slate of nominees would mark several historic firsts. If confirmed, John Chun would be the first Asian American man to serve on the US District Court for the Western District of Washington; Jinsook Ohta would be the first AAPI female judge on the US District Court for the Southern District of California; David A. Ruiz would be the first Hispanic district court judge in Ohio.

Beyond ethnic and gender diversity, Biden has also sought professional diversity among his nominations.

Three of Thursday’s nominees — Charles Fleming for the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Linda Lopez for the US District Court for the Southern District of California and Victoria Calvert for the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia — bring the total number of former public defenders Biden has nominated to the federal bench to 17, representing 32% of his nominees, according to the White House.

Biden has also now nominated 13 civil rights lawyers — about 25% of his nominations — with Thursday’s addition of Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the Law Office of the Southern Center for Human Rights who was nominated to the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

“All of the nominees are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution,” the White House said in a statement. “These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.”

Biden and his team have placed a high priority on identifying and nominating candidates for the federal bench while they currently have a slim majority in the Senate. It’s an effort that comes after President Donald Trump installed more than 230 federal judges during his time in office, including three Supreme Court justices, shaping the federal judiciary for decades to come.

Biden on Thursday also named four nominees to serve on Washington, D.C.’s local court of appeals and superior court: Loren AliKhan, Washington D.C.’s solicitor general, was chosen for the court of appeals and chosen for the DC superior court were: Adrienne Jennings Noti, a magistrate judge in DC; Ebony Scott, also a magistrate judge in DC; and D.W. Tunnage, a criminal trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

The-CNN-Wire
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