President Biden Announces 4th Slate of Judicial Nominations | Beaufort County Now | As he continues to move at an historic pace with respect to judicial nominees, the President is announcing five new candidates for the federal bench and two new candidates for District of Columbia courts

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President Biden Announces 4th Slate of Judicial Nominations

Press Release:

    As he continues to move at an historic pace with respect to judicial nominees, the President is announcing five new candidates for the federal bench and two new candidates for District of Columbia courts, all of whom are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.

    These choices also continue to fulfill the President's promise to ensure that the nation's courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.

    For example, this slate includes:

  • A nationally-recognized leader on voting rights who would be the only Latina serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • A former public defender and current civil rights plaintiff's attorney who would be the second African American woman judge actively serving on the District Court for the District of Columbia
  • A federal prosecutor who would be the first judge of South Asian descent to serve on the District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • A Department of Justice lawyer with two decades of civil rights experience, including as Deputy Chief of the Appellate Section in the Civil Rights Division
  • A magistrate judge on the D.C. Superior Court with deep experience in domestic violence and family law issues

    This is President Biden's fourth round of names for federal judicial positions, bringing the number of announced federal judicial nominees to 24.

    President Biden has spent decades committed to strengthening the federal bench, which is why he continues to move at an unparalleled speed with respect to judicial nominations. His first judicial nominations announcement was made faster than that of any new President in modern American history, and today's announcement continues that trend.


CIRCUIT COURT

MYRNA PÉREZ
Nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    Myrna Pérez is the director of the Brennan Center's Voting Rights and Elections Program at the New York University (NYU) School of Law. Ms. Pérez joined the Brennan Center in 2006. She has also been a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School since 2016. She previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law from 2013 to 2015. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Ms. Pérez was a Civil Rights Fellow at Relman, Dane & Colfax, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C., from 2005 to 2006. Ms. Pérez served as a law clerk for Judge Anita B. Brody on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2004 and for Judge Julio M. Fuentes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 2004 to 2005.

    Ms. Pérez received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2003, her M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School in 1998, and her B.A. from Yale University in 1996. Prior to law school, she was a Presidential Management Fellow, serving as a policy analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office on issues including housing and health care.


DISTRICT COURTS

SARAH A. L. MERRIAM
Nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut

    Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Connecticut since 2015. Previously, she served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Connecticut from 2007 to 2015. Judge Merriam worked on political campaigns in Connecticut from 2006 to 2007. She was an associate at the Connecticut-based law firm Cowdery, Ecker & Murphy from 2003 to 2006. Judge Merriam served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas Meskill on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 2002 to 2003 and for Judge Alvin Thompson on the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut from 2000 to 2002.

    Judge Merriam received an LLM from Duke Law School in 2018, her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2000, and her B.A. from Georgetown in 1993.

SARALA VIDYA NAGALA
Nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut

    Sarala Vidya Nagala is the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Connecticut, a role she has held since 2017. Ms. Nagala joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2012, and has served in a number of leadership roles in the office, including as Hate Crimes Coordinator. Previously, Ms. Nagala was an associate at Munger, Tolles, & Olson in San Francisco, California from 2009 to 2012. She began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge Susan Graber on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2008 to 2009.

    Ms. Nagala received her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law in 2008 and her B.A. from Stanford University in 2005.

OMAR A. WILLIAMS
Nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut

    Judge Omar A. Williams has served as a Superior Court Judge in Hartford, Connecticut since 2016. In that role, Judge Williams has served on the New England Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative, the Sentence Review Division, and the Wiretap Panel. He was previously a Superior Court Judge in New London from 2014 to 2016. Prior to his appointment as a state court judge, Judge Williams was an Assistant Public Defender for the State of Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services from 2003 to 2014.

    Judge Williams received his J.D. from the University of Connecticut Law School in 2002 and his B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1998.

JIA M. COBB
Nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia

    Jia M. Cobb is a partner at Relman Colfax, where she has practiced since 2012. Her plaintiff-side litigation practice focuses on fair housing, disability discrimination, employment discrimination, and cases at the intersection of civil rights and criminal justice. Ms. Cobb taught trial advocacy as an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law in 2011 and was a faculty member at Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop in 2010 and 2011. Prior to her time in private practice, Ms. Cobb served as a trial attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia from 2006 to 2012. She began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge Diane Wood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 2005 to 2006.

    Ms. Cobb received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 2005 and a B.A. from Northwestern University, magna cum laude, in 2002.


LOCAL D.C. COURTS

TOVAH R. CALDERON
Nominated to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals

    Tovah R. Calderon currently serves as an Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Ms. Calderon first joined the Department of Justice in 2001 through the Attorney General's Honors Program and has held numerous roles within the department. Before her current detail with the Civil Rights Division, Ms. Calderon served as a Deputy Chief in the Division's Appellate Section. Ms. Calderon has also served on detail to the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Civil Rights Division's Policy and Strategy Section, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 2000 to 2001, she served as a law clerk for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, as well as other judges on both the Fourth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

    Ms. Calderon received her J.D. from the Howard University School of Law in 2000 and her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1995.

KENIA SEOANE LOPEZ
Nominated to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

    Judge Kenia Seoane Lopez is currently a Magistrate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Prior to her appointment in 2012, Judge Seoane Lopez served as a Bilingual Attorney Negotiator in the Domestic Violence Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court from 2009 to 2012. She previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Legal Services Section of the Child Support Division in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia from 2005 to 2009. Judge Seoane Lopez served as a law clerk to the Justices on the Massachusetts Superior Court from 2002 to 2003 and Senior Judges on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia from 2004 to 2005.

    Judge Seoane Lopez received her J.D. and M.A. in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 and her B.S. from Northeastern University, cum laude, in 1997.


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