WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2022 – After several weeks away on recess, the Senate Judiciary Committee today resumed its work of processing President Biden’s judicial nominees. The hearing featured two circuit court nominees and three nominees to the district court that serves Puerto Rico. Several of their records are notable.
Judge Doris L. Pryor, nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Indiana since 2018. She is a former prosecutor who also brings experience as a public defender. If confirmed, she will be Indiana’s first judge of color to serve on the Seventh Circuit and only the second currently serving on that circuit.
Roopali H. Desai, nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, brings not only extensive legal experience but expertise on election law, leading her firm’s Election and Political Law Group. Desai has notably litigated around many ballot measure campaigns and successfully convinced the Arizona Supreme Court to void an unconstitutional ban on mask mandates. She would be the first person of South Asian descent to serve on the Ninth Circuit.
A standout among the nominees to the District Court for the District of Puerto Rico is Gina R. Méndez-Miró, who currently sits on the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals. She has 16 years of experience in public service and would be the first openly LGBTQ+ individual to serve on that district court.
Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:
“We know now more than ever how important it is to have champions of justice on our courts. As the Supreme Court prepares to consider additional cases that could undermine our democracy, we need experts on election law like Roopali Desai on our courts. We likewise need more public defenders like Doris L. Pryor who will be knowledgeable of and sensitive to the experiences of people from all walks of life.
“There is no time to waste in seeing these nominees confirmed, and we applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee and Chair Durbin’s leadership for their consistent commitment to the confirmation process.”