Published on: Thursday, September 30, 2021

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced ten new nominees for seats on the federal trial courts and touted the diverse personal and legal backgrounds of the picks, who include three with Asian American or Pacific Islander heritage as well as two Hispanic and two Black individuals (article available here).

The new slate brings Biden's total number of judicial nominees to 53, according to a release from the White House. They include Biden's first nominees in Georgia, Ohio, New York and New Hampshire. The slate also includes nominees with backgrounds as public defenders and civil rights lawyers.

The White House emphasized the historic nature of several of the picks, including nominees who would be the first former federal defender to be a judge in the Northern District of Georgia, the first Hispanic district court judge in Ohio and the first woman of Asian American-Pacific Islander descent to serve as a judge in the Southern District of California.

Biden announced three nominees for the Northern District of Ohio, including the district's acting U.S. attorney, a veteran public defender and a current magistrate judge, marking his first nominations in Ohio. Charles Esque Fleming has been an assistant federal public defender in the district's public defender office since 1991. Bridget Meehan Brennan has been the acting U.S. attorney in the district since January, and has served in the U.S. attorney's office since 2007, including stints as chief of the Civil Rights Unit and Criminal Division. Judge David Augustin Ruiz has been a magistrate judge in the district since 2016 and was an assistant U.S. attorney in the district before that.

In Georgia, Biden tapped two new judges for the Northern District with experience as defense attorneys. Sarah Elisabeth Geraghty is currently the senior counsel at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, where she's worked for nearly two decades. Prior to that, she was a staff attorney in the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York. Victoria Marie Calvert has been a staff attorney in the Federal Defender Program in Atlanta since 2012.

Judge John H. Chun is Biden's nominee for the Western District of Washington. He has served as a judge since 2014, first on the King County Superior Court and more recently on the Washington Court of Appeals. He would be the first man of Asian American-Pacific Islander descent to serve on the district court.

President Biden's picks also include two current judges as nominees for the Southern District of California. Judge Linda Lopez has been a magistrate judge in the district since 2018. She was a public defender in San Diego for more than a decade prior to that and also previously worked as a criminal defense attorney.

Dale E. Ho, a veteran voting rights attorney, is Biden's first nominee for the Southern District of New York. Ho has worked as director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Voting Rights Project since 2013, and was an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. before that.