Demand Justice Statement on Biden Breaking Record for Most Public Defenders Nominated to Circuit Courts


January 19, 2022

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WASHINGTON, DC— Following news that President Biden will nominate eight additional judges and break the record for the total number of public defenders nominated to be appellate judges during a presidency, Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang released the following statement:

“When it comes to the courts, President Biden is the public defender president. To bring balance to a court system dominated by lawyers who have represented the government and the rich and powerful, Biden has nominated a record-breaking number of lawyers who have defended the rights of people who could not afford a lawyer. This slate of nominees also builds on Biden’s track record appointing civil rights lawyers and plaintiffs’ lawyers to the bench.”

In less than a year in office, President Biden has nominated more current and former public defenders to the circuit courts than any president in history. On Wednesday, President Biden announced he will nominate federal public defender Arianna Freeman to a circuit court judgeship based in Pennsylvania, bringing the total number of circuit nominees with public defender experience he has nominated to six and breaking the record previously set by President Obama over two terms in office.

Before President Biden took office, only 8 Black women had ever served on the nation’s circuit courts in our country’s entire history. President Biden would double that number, as Freeman is the 8th Black woman he has nominated to a circuit court.

Wednesday’s nominees also include three more professionally diverse lawyers: Tiffany Cartwright, a civil rights and plaintiffs’ lawyer, to the Western District of Washington; Nusrat Choudhury, Legal Director of the ACLU of Illinois, to the Eastern District of New York; and Natasha Merle, NAACP LDF Deputy Director of Litigation, to the Eastern District of New York.

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