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Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday announced plans to nominate 11 judges to the federal courts, including D.C. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace former D.C. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland, who is now U.S. attorney general.

Why it matters: The nominees include three Black women and, if confirmed, could result in the first Muslim federal judge in the country's history, the first AAPI woman to serve on the D.C. District Court, and the first woman of color as a federal judge in Maryland, according to the White House.

  • The selections "reflect the president’s deeply held conviction that the federal bench should reflect the full diversity of the American people," the White House wrote in a news release.

Between the lines: The nomination of Jackson will likely spur discussion about a potential nomination for the Supreme Court.

  • Biden has said he will nominate the country's first Black female justice, and the D.C. Circuit Court to which Jackson is nominated is often viewed as a stepping stone for the highest court.
  • Jackson was once a clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer, the oldest justice on the Supreme Court.

Other nominees:

  • Zahid N. Quraishi, a magistrate judge and nominee for the New Jersey District Court, would be the first Muslim American to serve on the federal bench.
  • Tiffany Cunningham, a patent litigator in Chicago, was nominated to the Federal Circuit Appeals Court. She would be the first Black woman to serve on that court.
  • Florence Y. Pan, a D.C. Superior Court judge, is nominated to replace Jackson on the D.C. District Court. She would be the first Asian American woman on the court.
  • Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, who has served as a federal public defender for the last decade, is a nominee for the Seventh Circuit Appeals Court. She would be the only Black woman on that court's bench.

Other nominations include:

  • Magistrate Judge Deborah Boardman and Federal Claims Court Judge Lydia Griggsby for the Maryland District Court.
  • Julien Neals, a county counsel and acting county administrator in New Jersey, to serve on New Jersey's District Court.
  • Civil rights and criminal lawyer Margaret Strickland for the New Mexico District Court.
  • Former federal prosecutor Regina Rodriguez for the Colorado District Court.

What he's saying: “This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession," Biden said in a statement.

  • "Each is deeply qualified and prepared to deliver justice faithfully under our Constitution and impartially to the American people — and together they represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong."

The White House noted in its news release that "none of the last four administrations had nominated more than two candidates by this point in their presidency."

Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect that Florence Y. Pan is a judge on the D.C. Superior Court, not the Federal Claims Court.

Go deeper

Minnesota court rules felony rape charge doesn't apply if victim got willingly drunk

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Thissen said the initial third-degree criminal sexual conduct ruling did not count in this case. Photo: Marlin Levison/Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a man who had sex with a woman while she was passed out on his couch cannot be found guilty of felony rape because the victim got herself drunk beforehand.

The big picture: Minnesota is one of the many states that says that for a victim to be too mentally incapacitated to give consent, they must have become intoxicated against their will, such as if a person secretly drugged someone's drink, The Washington Post reports.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

All-civilian Inspiration4 is back on Earth after flight to space

A side-by-side of the Inspiration4 crew and a shot of their capsule on the way back to Earth. Photo: SpaceX

The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.