May 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden names third slate of judicial nominees

Picture of Joe Biden standing behind a podium
Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday announced a new slate of nominations for federal judges, with the president now having put forward 20 names to fill judicial vacancies.

Why it matters: The administration described the most recent picks as an embodiment of "the diversity of our nation," and said that Biden is continuing a trend of announcing judicial nominees at a record pace.

  • "These individuals embody President Biden’s commitment to ensure that his judicial nominees represent not only the excellence but the diversity of our nation with respect to both personal and professional backgrounds," the White House said in a news release.

The recent nominees:

  • Gustavo A. Gelpí, Jr.: He was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2006 to the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico. Biden is naming him to serve in the First Circuit Appeals Court, which could make him the second Puerto Rican judge to ever serve on that court.
  • Eunice C. Lee: She is being nominated to the Second Circuit Appeals Court, based in New York. She would be the second Black woman to ever serve in that court and the only serving with experience as a federal defender.
  • Veronica S. Rossman: The immigrant, who came to the United States as a small child, is being nominated to serve in the Tenth Circuit Appeals Court, based in Colorado.
  • Angel Kelley: Nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts after serving as a state judge since 2009. She would be the second Black woman and second Asian American to serve as a judge on that court.
  • Lauren J. King: She is being nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington after having worked as an attorney in Seattle. If confirmed, she would be the third Native American serving on a federal court and the first Native American federal judge in Washington State.
  • Karen M. Williams: Candidate for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. She would be the first Black district court judge to sit in the Camden courthouse.

What they're saying: "Most of our nominees are coming from the public sector, or from the defense bar, or other non traditional backgrounds for federal judges," White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said earlier this year, per USA Today.

  • "We're really focused on trying to fill those courts with qualified people and bring more balance to those courts."
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