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President Biden Creates More Diversity On the Bench By Including Public Defenders in New Round of Judicial Nominees

President Biden Creates More Diversity On the Bench By Including Public Defenders in New Round of Judicial Nominees

President Joe Biden moved to further make good on his campaign promise to diversify the federal bench in terms of demographics and job experience on Wednesday with five new judicial nominees, including two women with backgrounds as public defenders selected as appellate judges.

The President has now nominated 92 federal appellate and district court judges since taking office last year, with a majority being women and people of color. Many have backgrounds other than as corporate lawyers or prosecutors, more traditional career paths for judges, including 27 who were current or former public defenders representing indigent defendants.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, with President Joe Biden, speaks after she was nominated for Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, in the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, DC, February 25, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

President Biden nominated Lara Montecalvo, the top public defender in Rhode Island, to serve on the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. District Judge Sarah Merriam in Connecticut to join the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The President also nominated Ana Reyes, a litigator at the law firm Williams & Connolly who immigrated to the United States as a child and would become the first Hispanic woman and openly LGBTQ person to serve as a district court judge in Washington, D.C. And President Biden has chosen Anne Nardacci, a partner at the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner in Albany, New York, to serve as a federal district court judge in the Northern District of New York.

 

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