Published on: Thursday, July 21, 2022

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced President Joe Biden's seven nominees for the U.S. Sentencing Commission and two judicial nominees, moving them one step closer to confirmation.

The Sentencing Commission is an independent agency charged with researching and developing sentencing guidelines for the federal courts, with an eye toward reducing sentencing disparities.

The diverse slate of picks includes Mississippi U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves, who is in line to be the first Black person to serve as chairman.

Longtime federal public defender Laura Mate is in line to serve as vice chairwoman of the panel.

Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was an assistant federal public defender in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and assistant defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia early in his career.

Among the other nominees for the commission is retired federal judge John Gleeson, who now works in private legal practice and speaks out about racial disparities in punishments for drug crimes.

The other selections are:

  • Claire McCusker Murray, who served as principal deputy associate attorney general in the Trump Justice Department, to be vice chair and commissioner;
  • Claria Horn Boom, a US district judge in Kentucky nominated by President Trump, to be commissioner; and
  • Candice Wong, an assistant US attorney in Washington, to be commissioner.