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Thursday, April 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Biden caps year full of judicial appointments with two more nominees

The president continues to focus on diversifying the federal bench as he closes out the year with two additional nominations.

WASHINGTON (CN) — President Joe Biden made two new judicial nominations on Thursday, including nominating the first Black woman to the 11th Circuit. 

The president has focused on nominating judges that will better reflect the diversity of the country and his 12th round of nominees will abide by that ethos. Biden has nominated Nancy Gbana Abudu to the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit and J. Michelle Childs to the D.C. Circuit. 

“The nomination of two qualified and prepared Black women, each with diverse lawyering experience, to serve on the federal circuit courts is an important demonstration of the president’s commitment to diversifying and strengthening the federal bench,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a statement. 

Abudu will be the first Black female judge — and only the second woman of color and third African American — to sit on the 11th Circuit. She is currently the deputy legal director and interim director for strategic litigation at the Southern Poverty Law Center and previously worked at the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. Abudu graduated from Tulane University School of Law in 1999. 

With voting rights becoming increasingly contested in recent years, Abudu’s experience at the ACLU Voting Rights Project will be all the more relevant. 

“Throughout her career as a civil rights attorney and voting rights expert, from her time as a senior staff attorney at the ACLU to her tenure in leadership at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Abudu has demonstrated excellence as a lawyer, superb professionalism, and a commitment to justice and fairness,” Ifill said. 

Biden's D.C. Circuit nominee, Childs, will bring experience from her time as a judge on the U.S. District Court for South Carolina and as a state circuit judge. She also brings expertise on labor and employment law. 

Childs previously worked as a commissioner on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission and as deputy director of the division of labor at the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. She studied at the University of South Carolina School of Law and Duke University School of Law. 

“In addition to helping to restore integrity to the courts, we are confident that both of these eminently qualified and gifted nominees will serve with the same principled devotion to fairness, equality, and justice that has defined their respective careers,” Ifill said. “We urge the United States Senate to immediately consider and advance these gifted, principled, and unquestionably qualified nominees.”

Biden will close out 2021 with a total of 75 nominees and 40 confirmed judges — the most since Ronald Reagan was president. So far the president’s appointees have been 80% women and 53% people of color, according to the White House. 

Follow @KelseyReichmann
Categories / Courts, Government, National

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