WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2021 – This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the confirmation of five more of President Biden’s judicial nominees. Among the nominees were two experienced public defenders to appeals courts: Eunice Lee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Veronica Rossman to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Eunice Lee spent over two decades with New York City’s Office of the Appellate Defender and recently joined the Federal Defenders of New York. She has represented over 380 indigent clients, focusing primarily on post-conviction relief, including numerous habeas proceedings, one of the most common cases heard by federal courts of appeal. If confirmed, Lee would be only the second Black woman to serve on the Second Circuit.
Veronica Rossman has spent the majority of her career representing indigent defendants in Colorado and Wyoming. In several cases, she was successful in having lengthy prison sentences reduced or vacated for individuals convicted of non-violent offenses with no prior criminal history. She has represented over 250 indigent clients, including cases arising out of every judicial district in the Tenth Circuit. She also has experience in civil litigation, including antitrust and intellectual property law.
The committee also advanced three nominees to the Western District of Washington — Lauren King, Tana Lin, and David Estudillo — all of whom have impressive experience as civil rights attorneys.
Lauren King has dedicated much of her career to representing Native American tribes, and if confirmed, she would be only the fifth Native American federal judge in American history and the first in Washington State.
Tana Lin spent years representing workers and consumers as a litigator at a firm in Washington, and prior to that worked at the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In those offices, she fought employment discrimination by entities like police departments and large private corporations, including Wal-Mart. She also served as litigation coordinator for Michigan Poverty Law Program and has performed significant pro bono work, most notably suing to block portions of the Trump administration’s Muslim ban.
Estudillo, the son of immigrant farmworkers, spent over a decade working as a civil litigator, representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases and fighting for immigrants at deportation and DACA hearings.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:
“The legitimacy of our courts ultimately rests upon the public’s faith in judges’ ability to uphold the rule of law while providing equal justice for all. The exceptionally well qualified nominees advanced this morning are an important step forward for President Biden’s vision of rebalancing the courts in this vein, following the confirmation of more than 230 conservative extremist judges under the previous administration. These nominees will bring true demographic and professional diversity to the federal bench, with a breadth of experience that includes representing many of the must legally vulnerable members of our society including indigent defenders, immigrants, members of Indigenous communities, survivors of police violence and abuse, and consumers harmed by corrupt corporate practices. When our judges have experiences like these that reflect the people who will be seeking justice in their courtrooms, they are better positioned to advance the rule of law in ways that build public trust in our system of justice. The full Senate should swiftly confirm all of these nominees.”