WASHINGTON, D.C., August 5, 2021 – This morning President Biden announced his sixth slate of judicial nominees, maintaining an impressive pace to fill the 118 judicial vacancies on the federal bench. President Biden’s nominations highlight the administration’s continued commitment to adding professional and demographic diversity to the federal judiciary, and the new slate includes two historic firsts for the LGBTQ+ community.
Justice Beth Robinson of the Vermont Supreme Court has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. If confirmed, she would be the first LGBTQ+ woman to ever serve on a federal circuit court. Robinson is exceptionally qualified and has significant experience as a civil rights lawyer, including her past representation of couples fighting for marriage equality in Vermont.
Charlotte Sweeney, a nominee to the District Court for the District of Colorado, would be the first openly LGBTQ+ judge in Colorado and the first LGBTQ+ woman to serve as a federal district court judge in any state west of the Mississippi. She has an extensive background representing workers in employment law cases.
The slate also includes Judge Mary Katherine Kimke, nominated to serve as a district judge for the Eastern District of Washington. Kimke is currently serving as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in that district, a post she’s held since 2016.
Judge John P. Howard III has also been nominated for a seat on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. A current Administrative Law Judge, Judge Howard has adjudicated discrimination cases in the areas of employment, housing, education, and public accommodations.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“Demographic and professional diversity on the federal bench is monumentally important for all those seeking justice in our federal courts, and is especially important for women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who deserve to be represented in these powerful positions. It matters that we have judges who have spent their careers fighting for civil rights and to protect people from discrimination. It matters that our courts are inclined to weigh the rights of everyday workers as highly as they hold the rights of corporations seeking to make a profit.
“We look forward to the speedy confirmation of this tremendous slate of judges by the U.S. Senate, and we applaud President Biden for continuing to work to diversify our courts and ensure that justice is equally available to all.”