Biden Releases First Slate of Judicial Nominees: White House

Biden Releases First Slate of Judicial Nominees: White House”

US President Joe Biden announced his first judicial nominations Tuesday, stressing diversity in yet another break with the policies of Donald Trump.

"This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession", Biden said in a statement this morning.

Among the candidates are Ketanji Brown Jackson, a longtime District Court judge in Washington, D.C., who would succeed Merrick Garland on the Circuit Court of Appeals.

These included the first Black and Muslim Americans on certain courts. She attended Harvard Law School and has clerked for prominent judges, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She was previously a federal public defender.

Shortly after the president unveiled his nominees, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement saying that the Senate will work "quickly to confirm" them. "Today's nominees embody the demographic and professional diversity and forward-thinking that will ensure justice is served to the American people when they enter a courtroom".

The White House said the 11 nominees are attorneys who have excelled in a range of legal positions, including as jurists, public defenders, prosecutors and public servants, as well as in the private sector and the military. He was also a key architect of the most sweeping overhaul of the criminal justice system in decades, the First Step Act, which was signed into law in 2018.

"President Biden has nominated two outstanding and highly qualified individuals to serve on the U.S. District Court of New Jersey in Julien Neals and Magistrate Judge Zahid Quraishi".

In addition to announcing nominees to the circuit courts, Mr. Biden also revealed his candidates to fill open seats on federal district courts in Maryland, New Jersey, the District of Columbia and New Mexico, as well as the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

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"We commend President Biden for nominating stellar lawyers to serve on our nation's federal courts", said Alliance for Justice president Nan Aron in a statement.

The Barack Obama appointee is a graduate of Harvard Law School and former public defender was reportedly seriously considered for the 2016 nomination to the high court that eventually went to Garland.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Quraishi was a partner at Riker Danzig where he chaired the firm's White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and served as his firm's first Chief Diversity Officer.

The nominees also include Judge Deborah Boardman for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. "Numerous district courts across the country have still never had a judge who is a person of color or a woman". The aide also noted that for district court nominees, which required positive blue slips from both home-state senators to proceed, Democrats worked in good faith with the Trump administration to identify consensus district court nominees in blue and purple states, and expect Republicans to do the same. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.

Quraishi would be the first Muslim American on a District Court bench.

Julien Xavier Neals now serves as County Counsel for Bergen County, New Jersey, a position he has held since January 2015.

The D.C. Circuit is considered the second-highest court in the land and a feeder bench to the U.S. Supreme Court. Previously, Pan worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C.

Quraishi has served as a U.S. magistrate judge since 2019, appointed by the U.S. District Court and was the first Muslim American to serve in that position. Rodriguez has been a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Denver since 2019, handling cases involving complex litigation and government investigations. Strickland has been a partner at McGraw & Strickland LLC in Las Cruces, New Mexico, since 2011, representing clients in civil rights cases and criminal cases in state and federal courts in New Mexico. Puttagunta serves as an administrative judge for the D.C. Rental Housing Commission. White House counsel Dana Remus sent Democratic senators a letter in December stressing the new administration's focus on naming judges who "represent Americans in every walk of life". Before joining the commission, she was a solo practitioner from 2013 to 2019, representing indigent criminal defendants in trial and on appeal.

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