President Biden today announced his intent to nominate 10 individuals to serve as Federal Circuit and District Court judges, and one individual to serve as a Superior Court Judge for the District of Columbia.
The list released by the White House includes Black, Muslim, and Asian American Pacific Islander candidates among the nine women and two men.
“This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession. Each is deeply qualified and prepared to deliver justice faithfully under our Constitution and impartially to the American people,’ said Biden. “Together they represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong.”
Here is a look at the nominees:
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Jackson has served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia since 2013. Prior to joining the federal bench, Judge Jackson served as a Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission beginning in 2010. President Barack Obama considered Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016.
Tiffany Cunningham: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Tiffany P. Cunningham has been a partner at Perkins Coie LLP in Chicago, Illinois since 2014. She is a member of the Patent Litigation practice and serves on the 17-member Executive Committee of the firm. Ms. Cunningham 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: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Candace Jackson-Akiwumi is a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP in Washington, D.C., where she focuses on complex civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, and investigations. From 2010 to 2020, Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi worked as a staff attorney at the Federal Defender Program in the Northern District of Illinois. Ms. Jackson-Akiwumi represented more than 400 indigent clients accused of federal crimes at every stage of the process, from investigation to trial, sentencing, and appeal.
Judge Deborah Boardman: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
Deborah Boardman is a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, a position she was appointed to in 2019. From 2008 to 2019, Judge Boardman served at the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the District of Maryland, including four years as the First Assistant Federal Public Defender. From 2001 to 2008, Judge Boardman worked as an associate at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) in Washington, D.C., where she was selected to serve as the senior associate in the firm’s pro bono department.
Judge Lydia Griggsby: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
Judge Lydia Griggsby has served as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims since 2014. Prior to her appointment, Judge Griggsby was Chief Counsel for Privacy and Information Policy and Privacy Counsel for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, from 2005 to 2014. Prior to that, she was a counsel on the Senate Select Committee on Ethics from 2004 to 2005. Judge Griggsby served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, practicing in the Civil Division, for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia from 1998 to 2004.
Julien Neals: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Julien Neals is County Counsel and Acting County Administrator for Bergen County, New Jersey. He became county counsel in January 2015 and has served as Acting County Administrator since June 2016. Mr. Neals served in various positions in the Newark, New Jersey city government between 2006 and 2014, including as Business Administrator from 2010 to 2014, Corporation Counsel from 2008 to 2010, and Chief Judge of the Municipal Court from 2006 to 2008. He was a partner at the Secaucus, New Jersey, law firm of Chasan Leyner & Lamparello from 1992 to 2006 and from 2014 to 2015.
Judge Florence Y. Pan: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Judge Florence Y. Pan has served as an Associate Judge on the Superior Court for the District of Columbia since 2009. Prior to joining the court, from 1999 to 2009, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where she also served as Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division from 2007 to 2009. From 1998 to 1999, she worked at the United States Department of Treasury, first as a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets in 1998 and then as a Senior Advisor to the Undersecretary for Domestic Finance in 1999.
Judge Zahid N. Quraishi: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Zahid Quraishi is a United States Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, a position he was appointed to in 2019. Prior to his appointment, Judge Quraishi was a partner at Riker Danzig where he chaired the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Group and served as his firm’s first Chief Diversity Officer. Before joining Riker Danzig, Judge Quraishi served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey from 2008 to 2013. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s office, Judge Quraishi served as an assistant chief counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Regina Rodriguez: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Colorado
Regina Rodriguez has been a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Denver, Colorado since 2019. She is the Co-Chair of the Trial Practice and handles cases involving complex litigation and government investigations. From 2016 to 2019, she was a partner in the Denver, Colorado office of Hogan Lovells US LLP. From 2002 to 2016, Ms. Rodriguez worked in the Denver office of Faegre & Benson LLP (now Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP) as a special counsel until she was elevated to partner in 2005. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado from 1995 to 2002, during which time she served as the Deputy Chief of the Civil Division from 1998 to 1999 and as Chief of the Civil Division from 1999 to 2002.
Margaret Strickland: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico
Margaret Strickland has been a named partner at McGraw & Strickland LLC in Las Cruces, New Mexico since 2011. She represents clients in both civil rights cases and criminal cases in both state and federal courts in New Mexico. She has represented clients in more than 70 criminal jury trials, and she has also argued before the New Mexico Supreme Court and the New Mexico Court of Appeals. From 2017 to 2019, she served as President of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta: Nominee for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta currently serves as an Administrative Judge for the D.C. Rental Housing Commission. Prior to joining the Commission in 2019, Judge Puttagunta was a solo practitioner from 2013 to 2019, representing indigent criminal defendants in trial and on appeal. Before opening her own practice, Judge Puttagunta practiced family and appellate law at Delaney McKinney, LLP from 2012 to 2013. While working on domestic relations matters in private practice, Judge Puttagunta also provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services by volunteering at D.C. Superior Court’s Family Court Self-Help Center and Attorney Negotiator Program and representing victims of domestic violence in D.C. Superior Court.