On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced four judicial nominees, including two historic nominations of LGBTQ judges, marking his sixth round of judicial nominees since taking office.
Biden has nominated Justice Beth Robinson, has who has been an associate judge on the Vermont supreme court since 2011, for a seat on the US court of appeals for the second circuit. If confirmed, she would be the first openly LGBT+ woman to ever serve on any US appeals court.
Prior to her appointment, Justice Robinson served as counsel to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin from 2010 to 2011. From 1993 to 2010, Justice Robinson was a civil litigator in private practice at Langrock Sperry & Wool, where she focused on civil litigation, including employment law, workers’ compensation, contract disputes, and family law. She also represented LGBTQ+ individuals in civil and civil rights cases, including leading the freedom to marry movement in Vermont.
Judge Charlotte Sweeney is Biden’s US District Court nominee for the District of Colorado. If confirmed, she would be the first openly LGBT+ judge in Colorado.
Sweeney is currently a partner at Sweeney & Bechtold, LLC, where she has practiced since 2008. Her law practice is devoted to representing individuals in employment law cases. Ms. Sweeney was previously a partner with LaFond & Sweeney, LLC from 1999 to 2008 and LaFond & Bove, LLC from 1997 to 1999. Ms. Sweeney began her career as an associate with LaFond & Clausen, LLC in 1995 and was named a partner at the firm in 1998.
Judge Mary Katherine Dimke and Judge John P. Howard was also nominated by President Biden.
Judge Dimke is a nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
She has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Washington since 2016. Prior to becoming a judge, she was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington from 2012 to 2016 and for the Western District of Washington from 2008 to 2012.
Judge Howard is a nominee for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
He currently serves as an Administrative Law Judge with the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings. Before his appointment to the bench in 2018, Judge Howard served as an Administrative Law Judge with the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights from 2014 to 2018, where he adjudicated discrimination claims in the areas of employment, housing, education, and public accommodations.
The President’s push to form an inclusive administration is progressive, as many of his nominees have been the first to serve in the nominated positions.
President Biden has announced a total of 35 judicial nominees since taking office.