Demand Justice Statement on New Biden Public Defender Nominees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2022
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DEMAND JUSTICE STATEMENT ON NEW BIDEN PUBLIC DEFENDER NOMINEES
Biden has now nominated as many public defenders to the circuit courts as all past presidents combined.
WASHINGTON, DC— In response to news that President Biden will nominate three more former public defenders to the federal courts, including two to the federal courts of appeal, Demand Justice Chief Counsel Christopher Kang released the following statement:
“The era of public defender judges is here to stay. Following Justice Jackson’s confirmation as the first public defender Supreme Court justice, President Biden is continuing to build on his already record-setting commitment to nominating lawyers who chose to represent clients who could not afford a lawyer. Like Justice Jackson, these nominees bring a critical diversity of experience that will make the courts more balanced.”
Biden will reportedly nominate Rhode Island Public Defender Lara Montecalvo to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Judge Sarah Merriam to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Hanes to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
With these nominees, Biden has now nominated as many public defenders to the circuit courts as had been nominated by all former presidents combined. Biden has already broken the record for total number of former defenders nominated to the appellate courts during a presidency. He has now nominated a total of 8 public defenders to the circuit courts, surpassing the record of 5 set over President Obama’s two terms in office.
The elevation of Judge Merriam, who was first appointed to the district court by President Biden, also illustrates the advantage of the Senate quickly confirming Biden’s nominees to the district court.
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