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Biden begins judicial nominations

President Biden announced 11 total nominations for federal courts, 10 that would serve as Federal Circuit or District court judges, and one that would serve as a Superior Court Judge for Washington, D.C. (https://www.npr.org/2021/03/30/977831327/biden-makes-first-judicial-nominations-including-a-supreme-court-contender). The White House released a statement, saying, "These nominees consist of attorneys who have excelled in the legal field in a wide range of positions, including as renowned jurists, public defenders, prosecutors, in the private sector, in the military, and as public servants at all levels of government."


Here is the list of nominees and the respective positions:

  • Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

  • Tiffany Cunningham, nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

  • Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit

  • Judge Deborah Boardman, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

  • Judge Lydia Griggsby, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

  • Julien Neals, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

  • Judge Florence Y. Pan, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

  • Judge Zahid N. Quraishi, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

  • Regina Rodriguez, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

  • Margaret Strickland, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico

  • Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta, nominee for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

The Biden Administration has made a point to nominate a diverse group of individuals. Nine of the eleven nominees are people of color, and nine of the eleven nominees are women. Some within the Democratic Party also want a diversity in legal experience, with President Biden telling Senators to look for, "...individuals whose legal experiences have been historically underrepresented on the federal bench, including those who are public defenders, civil rights and legal aid attorneys, civil rights and legal aid attorneys, and those who represent Americans in every walk of life."


There are currently 84 District Court vacancies, with 22 more judges who will either announce their retirement or take “senior status”. During the Trump Administration over 250 judges were nominated including 3 Supreme Court Justices. This total was more than the previous two administrations combined. Will Trump’s nominations have a lasting impact despite Democrat control of Congress and the White House, or will Biden make up lost ground with these nominations?

Image Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

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