Biden's group includes three Black women tapped for Circuit Court vacancies, as well as candidates who, if confirmed, would be the first Muslim American federal judge in US history, the first AAPI woman to ever serve on the US District Court for the District of Columbia and the first woman of color to ever serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland. She has served on the US District Court for the District of Columbia since 2013. "Progressives are galvanized around our courts unlike at any point in recent history, which is why 70 groups joined us in issuing a statement of principles calling on the Biden administration to consider judges from this expanded pool of legal professionals".
Candace Jackson-Akiwumi is nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
When Trump came to power the Senate was controlled by Republicans, who from 2014 to 2016 blocked judicial candidates nominated by then president Barack Obama, even though more than 100 court positions were vacant.
Her elevation to the D.C. Circuit-regarded as the second-most-important court in the nation-makes Jackson a likely favorite for a potential spot on the Supreme Court, should the opportunity arise. "President Biden is prioritizing the federal bench by rolling out such a large slate of nominees so early in his term, and is demonstrating his commitment to building a diverse bench of qualified, fair-minded judges with a commitment to equal justice under the law".
The official called Mr. Biden's picks "a paradigm shift in the types of people who can see themselves on the federal bench".
Other nominees included: Judge Deborah Boardman for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Julien Neals for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Regina Rodriguez for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; Margaret Strickland for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico; and Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Biden's other nominations to the federal circuit also include Tiffany Cunningham, a partner at Chicago-based Perkins Coie LLP. "They not only represent the best of New Jersey and our state's values, but they reflect the state's proud and rich diversity-critical elements for any effective judiciary sworn to uphold equal justice under the law", said Senator Menendez.
"This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession", Biden said Tuesday.
The nominations as a whole "represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong", Biden said in a statement.
While working on domestic relations matters in private practice, Judge Puttagunta also provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services by volunteering at D.C. Superior Court's Family Court Self-Help Center and Attorney Negotiator Program and representing victims of domestic violence in D.C. Superior Court. He also served as a military prosecutor and achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. She was previously an assistant USA attorney in D.C. and a senior adviser at the Treasury Department.
Griggsby, who is Black, has served as a judge on the US Court of Federal Claims since 2014. "With respect to Circuit and District Courts, none of the last four administrations had nominated more than two candidates by this point in their presidency".
Prior to his appointment, Judge Quraishi was a partner at Riker Danzig where he chaired the firm's White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and served as his firm's first Chief Diversity Officer. Neals, who is Black, is county counsel for the acting county administrator for Bergen County, N.J. He became county counsel in January 2015 and has served in an acting capacity since June 2016. "The 7th Circuit is now all white judges and it is time to reverse that trend that was so accelerated by the Trump administration". Rodriguez now is a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, L.L.P.in Denver, Colo., where she, "handles cases involving complex litigation and government investigations", according to the release.
Judge Puttagunta now serves as an Administrative Judge for the D.C. Rental Housing Commission.