WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2022 – This week, the White House announced a total of 11 new nominees to federal lower courts across two slates on Tuesday and Wednesday. These nominees continue the administration’s commitment to adding professional and demographic diversity to the federal bench. Notably, many of them have experience as public defenders or otherwise in criminal defense, an important offset to the overwhelming number of former prosecutors who currently serve as judges. Unfortunately, these nominees face a long backlog in the Senate before they can be confirmed.
Here are just a few of the notable highlights from the nominations:
- Cindy K. Chung would be the first Asian American judge to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
- Judge Mia Roberts-Perez, nominated to the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has experience as a public defender and would the first Asian American and second Latina judge to serve on that court.
- Judge Kai Scott, nominated to the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is a Black woman who dedicated most of her career before becoming a judge as a public defender.
- Jamar K. Walker, nominated to the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, would be the first openly LGBTQ+ individual to serve on that court.
- Jamal Whitehead, nominated to the District Court for the Western District of Washington, is a civil rights lawyer and President Biden’s first judicial nominee who identifies as a person with a disability.
Alliance for Justice Legal Director for Federal Courts Kimberly Humphrey issued the following statement:
“It is encouraging to see this White House still very committed to the judicial nomination process, selecting experientially and demographically diverse nominees committed to equal justice under the law. It’s particularly important to see nominees advance in another state with a Republican senator, Pennsylvania, given how critical it is to swiftly fill all vacancies on our courts. As the Senate’s backlog of nominations grows, time is of the essence to see all nominees confirmed before the year is out. 2022 may be the last chance to see this administration’s nominees confirmed.”