In all, the president has filed 20 names for federal judge vacancies.
The White House described many of the candidates as “innovative decisions” and said in a statement: “These people embody President Biden’s commitment to ensuring that his judicial candidates represent not only the excellence, but the diversity of our nation, both in terms of professional background. “
Biden announced that he would appoint Gustavo Gelpí Jr. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Gelpí Jr. is a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the district of Puerto Rico and has served as chief judge of the court since 2018, according to the White House.
Gelpí received the support of two Democratic members of the Hispanic Caucus of Congress, New York Representative Nydia Velazquez and Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva.
Velazquez, who used to chair the group, praised Gelpí as a “strong advocate for civil rights and the people of Puerto Rico” and urged the Senate to quickly confirm his nomination. He noted that Gelpí would be only the second Hispanic judge to be part of the First Circuit.
Grijalva congratulated the Biden administration for “appointing a judge who has denounced the racist foundations of island cases and criticized the Supreme Court and Congress for denying U.S. citizens residing in the territories the legal rights that the rest of us we take for granted “.
He called for federal courts to extend national federal benefits to citizens living in U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico.
Eunice Lee will be Biden’s candidate for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the second circuit. Lee is an assistant federal advocate for the New York Federal Defenders. Prior to that position, Lee worked from 1998 to 2019 with the Office of the Appellate Advocate in New York City, according to the White House.
Veronica Rossman is the president’s candidate for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Rossman has been a senior attorney for the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Colorado and Wyoming districts since 2017, and previously served as head of his firm’s appeals division, according to the White House.
The president announced that Angel Kelley is his U.S. district court candidate for the Massachusetts district. Kelley has served as an associate judge on the Massachusetts state court since 2009. She was initially appointed to the District Court and later appointed to the Superior Court in 2013, according to the White House.
Lauren King is the president’s candidate for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. King is a director of Foster Garvey, PC and is headquartered in Seattle. He chairs the firm’s Native American legal practices group and has served as an appeals judge for the Northwest intertribal judicial system since 2013, according to the White House. King is also a commissioner appointed to the Washington State Gaming Commission.
Karen Williams is Biden’s candidate for the U.S. District Court for the New Jersey District. Williams has been a U.S. magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court in the New Jersey district since 2009, according to the White House. Prior to that appointment, Williams spent 17 years in private practice at Jasinski & Williams, PC in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.
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