President Joe Biden has announced his first slate of judicial nominees. The list released by the White House on Tuesday includes Black, Muslim and Asian American Pacific Islander candidates among the nine women and two men.
The nominees are:
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 50, for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Jackson, who is Black, would fill the vacancy created by Judge Merrick Garland’s move to lead the Justice Department. She has served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia since 2013. President Barack Obama had considered Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. Biden has promised to nominate a Black woman for the high court if he has the opportunity to do so.
Tiffany Cunningham, 44, for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Cunningham, who is Black, has been a partner at Perkins Coie LLP in Chicago since 2014. She serves as trial and appellate counsel for large multinational companies, as well as small enterprises, and individuals in complex patent and trade secret disputes.
Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, 41, for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Jackson-Akiwumi, who is Black, is a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP in Washington, where she focuses on complex civil litigation, white-collar criminal defense and investigations. From 2010 to 2020, Jackson-Akiwumi worked as a staff attorney at the Federal Defender Program in the Northern District of Illinois.
Judge Deborah Boardman, 46, for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
Boardman is a U.S. magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, a position she was appointed to in 2019. She was previously a federal public defender.
Judge Lydia Griggsby, 53, for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
Griggsby, who is Black, has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims since 2014. Before that, Griggsby was chief counsel for privacy and information policy and privacy counsel for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
Julien Neals, 56, for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Neals, who is Black, is county counsel for the acting county administrator for Bergen County, New Jersey. He became county counsel in January 2015 and has served in an acting capacity since June 2016.
Judge Florence Y. Pan, 54, for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Pan, who is AAPI, has been an associate judge on the Superior Court for the District of Columbia since 2009.
Judge Zahid N. Quraishi, 45, for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Quraishi, who is Muslim and of Pakistani ancestry, is a U.S. magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, a position he was appointed to in 2019. Before that, he was a partner at Riker Danzig, where he chaired the firm’s white-collar criminal defense and investigations.
Regina Rodriguez, 57, for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
Rodriguez has been a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Denver since 2019, handling cases involving complex litigation and government investigations.
Margaret Strickland, 40, for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
Strickland has been a partner at McGraw & Strickland LLC in Las Cruces, New Mexico, since 2011, representing clients in civil rights cases and criminal cases in state and federal courts in New Mexico.
Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta, 39, for Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Puttagunta serves as an administrative judge for the D.C. Rental Housing Commission. Before joining the commission, she was a solo practitioner from 2013 to 2019, representing indigent criminal defendants in trial and on appeal.