WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2022 – Today the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing to consider lower court nominees since the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. The hearing featured five incredibly qualified women of color who all deserve swift confirmation to their respective judgeships.
Nancy G. Abudu, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, is an experienced civil rights attorney and a leading voting rights expert. She has built her career at both the ACLU and more recently at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where she spearheaded the creation of the Center’s Voting Rights Practice Group and supervised litigation in both the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits. She would be the first Black woman to serve on the Eleventh Circuit. She would also be just the second woman of color to ever serve on the Eleventh Circuit, and only the third Black judge, as well as the first person of color from the state of Georgia.
Judge J. Michelle Childs, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has already received national attention as one of the leading contenders President Biden considered for Justice Stephen Breyer’s Supreme Court vacancy. She began her service as a judge at the state level in 2006 and has served on the U.S. District Court in South Carolina since 2010. In addition to her years of experience on the bench, Judge Childs brings employment law expertise in both private practice and state government. When she was confirmed to her current judgeship, she was only the third woman and third Black judge to serve at the federal level in South Carolina.
Today’s panel also featured three U.S. district court nominees:
- Natasha C. Merle (Eastern District of New York)
- Nusrat Jahan Choudhury (Eastern District of New York)
- Ana Isabel de Alba (Eastern District of California)
Alliance for Justice Senior Legislative Counsel Kimberly Humphrey issued the following statement:
“Today’s nominees demonstrate this administration’s continued dedication to nominating only the best and brightest legal minds to serve on our nation’s courts. Following the heinous and unfair attacks that Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson endured from Senate Republicans, these women faced similar smears and attacks by association, and they nevertheless demonstrated their experience, qualifications, and temperament. No nominee should have to face this level of persistent misrepresentations of their beliefs and record.
“We still have over 100 vacancies left on our lower courts that deserve nominees like the five incredible women we heard from today. We need more judges who understand the importance of voting rights like Nancy Abudu does. We need more judges like J. Michelle Childs who proved their legal expertise without Ivy League credentials. We need more judges who understand the fragility of our cherished civil rights like Nusrat Choudhury does. We look forward to seeing many more hearings like today’s as vacancies across the country are filled with even more incredible nominees by the end of the year.”