WASHINGTON, D.C, December 1, 2022 – This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance a dozen of President Biden’s nominees to the federal courts, including three nominees to our circuit courts. These stellar nominees deserve full confirmation before the end of the year, including several standouts.
Bios for several of these standout nominees are below.
Alliance for Justice Legal Director for Federal Courts Kimberly Humphrey issued the following statement:
“Leader Schumer, Chairman Durbin, and the entire Democratic Caucus have made incredible progress advancing President Biden’s judicial nominees, but our courts are still in crisis. There are still too many vacancies and too many Trump judges wreaking havoc on this nation’s most cherished laws. These nominees all deserve to complete their journey to the bench, but time is of the essence.
“Notably, we still have a long way to go in making our society accessible to people with disabilities. They deserve representation at every level of our government and the wisdom that Jamal Whitehead and other civil rights advocates bring to protect all of us under the law. Our nation will be a better place with these nominees on the bench, and the Senate should do what it takes to guarantee their confirmations by the end of the term.”
Justice Maria Araujo Kahn, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has experience both as a public defender and as an advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Since 2006, she has served as a judge in Connecticut’s state courts, advancing from the Connecticut Superior Court to the Connecticut Appellate Court in 2017 and then to the Connecticut Supreme Court later that year. Justice Khan has also served as a professor of law at both University of Connecticut School of Law and Quinnipiac University School of Law.
Julie Rikelman, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, has spent her career fighting for civil and human rights, including serving as Litigation Director for the Center for Reproductive Rights for the past decade. She would be the first Jewish woman and first immigrant woman to serve on the First Circuit.
Araceli Martinez-Olguin, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is the first of President Biden’s nominees to have dedicated her career to immigrants’ rights. Serving as Supervising Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, she has fought to defend the employment rights of immigrant workers as well as litigated DACA cases. Martinez-Olguin is Latina and brings important professional and demographic diversity to the courts.
Jamal N. Whitehead, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, has regularly represented victims of workplace discrimination and unfair labor practices as a trial attorney, including cases of disability discrimination, racial discrimination, and sexual harassment and assault. In addition to his experience advocating for workers, Whitehead will also add diversity to the bench as a Black man and the first of President Biden’s nominees with a disclosed disability.