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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden nominated Damian Williams to be the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, among a slate of names he picked to some of the nation's most powerful law enforcement posts Tuesday.

Why it matters: Williams would be the first Black person to land one of the most coveted positions in prosecution. The powerful Manhattan-based office has had purview over some of the nation's most high-profile cases, like several inquiries into associates of former President Trump.

  • Williams, a former clerk on the Supreme Court for Justice John Paul Stevens, currently leads a securities fraud unit in the SDNY office.

Of note: Biden also nominated Jessica Aber to be the attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where she currently serves as a federal prosecutor, and lawyer Breon Peace to the same position in the Eastern District of New York.

  • Both offices tend to handle sensitive and politically-charged cases.

Other U.S. attorney appointments named Tuesday include Carla Freedman to the Northern District of New York, William Ihlenfeld II to the Northern District of West Virginia, Christopher Kavanaugh to the Western District of Virginia, Darcie McElwee to the District of Maine and William Thompson to the Southern District of West Virginia.

Between the lines: The White House wrote in a statement that confirming the nominations would be key to the Biden administration's "effort to take on the uptick in gun crime that has been taking place for the last 18 months[.]"

What they're saying: "These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice," the White House wrote in a statement.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 12, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado redistricting battle heads to court

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The independent panel that created Colorado's new congressional districts gave the lines a near-unanimous vote in favor, but more than a dozen legal challenges suggest the map is far from a settled matter.

What's happening: Democratic groups and their allies are asking the Colorado Supreme Court to order revisions to the congressional district boundaries, saying the map improperly splits communities and dilutes the power of Latino voters.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine won't run for office in 2022

Photo: Andrew Harrer for Bloomberg via Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said Tuesday he will not run for office next year, capping off two terms where the Democrat took on former President Donald Trump and corporate titans.

Why it matters: For years, Racine captured national attention and considered running for mayor, but now his exit sets the stage for a competitive race to fill his seat, and other candidates to run for mayor.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.