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Tapping 8 more for judgeships, Biden pads record for first year in office

The latest nomination sprint comes as Biden rounds out the first quarter of his term with ample attention to his goal of diversifying the federal courts.

WASHINGTON (CN) — President Joe Biden appointed eight to the federal bench Wednesday, bringing his record-breaking number of judicial nominations to 83 during his first year in office.

Biden nominated Arianna Freeman to the Third Circuit, Tiffany Cartwright to the Western District of Washington, Nusrat Jahan Choudhury and Natasha Merle to the Eastern District of New York, Jennifer Rearden to the Southern District of New York, Judge Ana Isabel de Alba to the Eastern District of California, Robert Steven Huie to the Southern District of California, and Judge Nina Nin-Yuen Wang to the District of Colorado.

This slate of nominees came on the anniversary of Biden's first day in office, rounding out a year focused on increasing the demographic and professional diversity of the federal bench.

Freeman would be the first Black woman and first woman of color to ever serve on the Third Circuit, which sits in Philadelphia, one of the most racially segregated cities in America. The Yale Law School alumna has worked at the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 2009, most recently as a managing attorney.

Cartwright, Biden's nominee for the Western District of Washington, is a partner at MacDonald Hoague & Bayless, a civil rights law firm where she has worked since 2014. She was previously an associate at Jenner & Block for two years.

Choudhury is the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and worked for more than 10 years for the ACLU in New York. If confirmed, she would be the first Muslim-American woman, first Bangladeshi-American and second Muslim-American to serve as a federal judge.

Merle, who is also nominated to the Eastern District of New York, is the current deputy director of litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund where she previously worked as senior counsel. She also spent one year as an assistant federal public defender with the Office of the Federal Public Defender.

Rearden is a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a position she has held since 2006, in addition to serving on the firm's litigation and crisis-management practice groups.

Alba became a judge on the Superior Court of Fresno Country in California after making partner at Lang Richet & Patch. The nomination from Biden would make her the first Latina to serve in California's Eastern District and the second active judge of Hispanic descent on the court.

Nominated for the Southern District of California, Huie is an attorney at the international law firm Jones Day. From 2008 to 2020, he worked as in the district as an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division.

Wang, tapped for a district judgeship in the District of Colorado, has served as a magistrate judge there since 2015. From 2008 to 2015, she was a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels.

This group of judicial nominees makes up the 13th round of judicial picks by Biden and comes as Biden wraps up one year in office.

Biden's nominations have outpaced that of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, and he has confirmed more lower court judges during his first year since President John F. Kennedy, according to the White House.

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