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Lawyer who defended abortion clinic in Dobbs tapped for 1st Circuit

Fresh from arguing before the Supreme Court in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade, Julie Rikelman has caught the attention of President Joe Biden.

WASHINGTON (CN) — One month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden on Friday nominated the lawyer who argued on behalf of abortion providers in the high-court case that eliminated the right to an abortion to join the First Circuit.

The high-profile case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization pitted Julie Rikelman’s client, the last-remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, against a state abortion law that banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The Supreme Court not only upheld the state abortion ban but overruled the constitutional right to an abortion it had established nearly 50 years prior in the case of Roe v. Wade.

In the wake of that decision, laws banning abortions are expected to take effect in at least half the states in the country.

If confirmed to the First Circuit, Rickelman will replace Judge Sandra Lynch, who is expected to take senior status.

Before taking the post as litigation director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Rikelman spent several years as vice president of litigation for NBC Universal and as an associate at the law firms of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York and Feldman & Orlansky in Anchorage, Alaska.

At the start of her career, she clerked on the Third Circuit and the Alaska Supreme Court. Rickelman earned her undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard.

Biden on Friday also nominated seven other prospective judges to the federal bench, including Justice Maria Araújo Kahn, slated to serve on the Second Circuit.

Kahn is an associate justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court and previously served on both the Connecticut Appellate Court and Connecticut Superior Court.

She clerked for a federal judge for the District of Connecticut early in her career and has experience in both prosecution and public defense, having spent two years as a deputy assistant public defender and nine years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut.

Kahn also worked as a staff attorney at the Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Disabilities.

She earned her undergraduate degree from New York University and her law degree from Fordham Law School.

Biden also nominated two for the Northern District of California who if confirmed would be the second Latina and the first Chinese American woman ever to serve on that bench.

Rita Lin has been a San Francisco Superior Court judge since 2018 and a federal prosecutor before that. Araceli Martinez-Olguin is a supervising attorney at the National Immigration Law Center and has also worked at both the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Aid.

For a decade, Lin was a partner at the international law firm of Morrison and Foerster. She worked as a law clerk on the First Circuit and earned her law and undergraduate degrees from Harvard.

Martinez-Olguinis a supervising attorney at the National Immigration Law Center and previously worked on immigration law with the Immigrants’ Rights Project at Community Legal Services in Palo Alto. She earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

For the Eastern District of California, Biden nominated Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Daniel Calabretta, who previously worked for Governor Jerry Brown. If confirmed, he would be that court's first openly LGBT judge.

Calabretta also spent several years as an associate with the law firm of Munger, Tolles and Olson.

At the start of his career, he held a highly coveted clerkship with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, as well as a clerkship with a judge on the Ninth Circuit.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

On Friday, Biden announced his intent to nominate Judge Todd Edelman to a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

For more than a decade, Edelman has served as an associate judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, but his prior legal work includes time in private practice and public defense.

Edelman previously held a visiting professor position at the Georgetown University Law Center and worked as of counsel at the Washington law firm of Bredhoff and Kaiser. For eight years, he worked as an attorney with the district's public defender service.

Early in his career, Edelman clerked for late Judge William B. Bryant, who was the first Black chief judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Edelman earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from New York University School of Law.

Judge Jeffery Hopkins is Biden's pick to serve as a district court judge for the Southern District of Ohio.

Hopkins has spent more than 25 years as a judge on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

He has experience in prosecution, having worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Ohio, and in private practice, having been an associate with the law firm formerly known as Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.

At the start of his career, Hopkins clerked on the Sixth Circuit and on the Ohio Court of Appeals. He earned his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and his law degree from Ohio State University.

Two of Biden's recent nominees, Justice Myong Joun and Julia Kobick, are slated to serve as district judges for the District of Massachusetts.

Joun is an associate justice on the Boston Municipal Court, a role he has held for eight years. He previously worked as a solo practitioner and as an associate with Howard Friedman, a firm that focuses on civil rights and police misconduct lawsuits.

A former member of the army and Massachusetts National Guard, Joun earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and his law degree from Suffolk University.

Kobick is a deputy state solicitor on the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General.

From 2012 to 2013, she clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kobick also clerked for judges on the Third Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard.

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