President Biden Names Eleventh Round of Judicial Nominees

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President Biden Names Eleventh Round of Judicial Nominees

The President is announcing 9 new federal judicial nominees, all of whom are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law an

The President is announcing 9 new federal judicial nominees, all of whom are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.

These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.

For example, this slate includes: 

  • A nominee who would be the first Native American Article III judge in California, the first Article III judge from the Navajo Nation, and the fifth Native American Article III judge actively serving in the United States.
  • A nominee who would be the only active Hispanic judge on the Eastern District of New York, which is a court with twelve active judges.
  • A nominee who would be the first LGBT Article III judge in Wisconsin and the first LGBT man to serve as an Article III federal judge anywhere in the Seventh Circuit.
  • A nominee who would be the second AAPI woman judge to ever serve in the Central District of California.

This is President Biden’s eleventh round of nominees for federal judicial positions, bringing the number of announced federal judicial nominees to 73.

President Biden has spent decades committed to strengthening the federal bench, which is why he continues to move rapidly to fill judicial vacancies. 

District Court

1. Jessica G. L. Clarke: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Jessica G. L. Clarke has served as Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau at the New York State Office of Attorney General since 2019. Ms. Clarke previously worked at the boutique litigation firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady Ward & Maazel LLP as Of Counsel from 2018 to 2019 and as an Associate from 2016 to 2018. From 2010 to 2016, Ms. Clarke served as a Trial Attorney in the Housing & Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Ms. Clarke served as a law clerk for Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio from 2008 to 2010.

Ms. Clarke received her J.D., cum laude, from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2008 and her B.A. from Northwestern University in 2005.

2. Judge Sherilyn Peace Garnett: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Central District of California

Judge Sherilyn Peace Garnett has served as a California Superior Court Judge on the Superior Court of Los Angeles County since 2014. From 2001 to 2014, Judge Garnett served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California in the Criminal Division. Judge Garnett served as Chief of the General Crimes Section in 2014, Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section from 2011 to 2014, and as the Domestic Terrorism Coordinator for the Central District of California from 2008 to 2011. From 1999 to 2000, Judge Garnett was a litigation associate at Arnold & Porter in Los Angeles. Judge Garnett began her career as a litigation associate at Altheimer & Gray in Chicago from 1995 to 1998. Judge Garnett served as a law clerk for Judge Barry T. Moskowitz on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California from 1998 to 1999.

Judge Garnett received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1995 and her B.A., with honors, from the University of California at Riverside in 1991.

3. Hector Gonzalez: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Hector Gonzalez has been a partner at Dechert LLP since 2011. He currently chairs the firm’s global litigation practice, and previously headed the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Mr. Gonzalez was previously a partner at Mayer Brown LLP from 1999 to 2011. From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Gonzalez served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. From 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1994, Mr. Gonzalez was a litigation associate at Roger & Wells. From 1990 to 1993, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Special Prosecutions Bureau and the Appeals Bureau at the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Gonzalez received his M.A. from John Jay College of the City University of New York in 1995, his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1988, and his B.S. from Manhattan College in 1985. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 1998 at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City.

4. Judge Kenly Kiya Kato: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Central District of California

Judge Kenly Kiya Kato has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California since 2014. From 2004 to 2014, Judge Kato was a solo practitioner, representing clients in civil and criminal cases. From 2003 to 2004, Judge Kato was an associate at Liner LLP in Los Angeles. From 1997 to 2003, she was a Deputy Federal Public Defender in the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles. Judge Kato served as a law clerk for Judge Robert M. Takasugi of the United States District Court for the Central District of California from 1996 to 1997.

Judge Kato received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996 and her B.A., summa cum laude, from UCLA in 1993.

5. Nina Morrison: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Nina Morrison serves as Senior Litigation Counsel at the Innocence Project in New York City, where she has been an attorney since 2002. She has served as lead counsel or co-counsel for approximately 30 wrongly convicted persons who were ultimately freed from prison or death row in more than 10 states. From 2002 to 2004, Ms. Morrison served as the Innocence Project’s Executive Director, leading the organization’s transition from a law school clinic to an independent nonprofit organization. Before joining the Innocence Project, she was an associate at Emery, Cuti, Brinckerhoff & Abady from 1999 to 2001. Ms. Morrison served as a law clerk for Judge Pierre N. Leval on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998 to 1999.

Ms. Morrison received her J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from the New York University School of Law in 1998 and her B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Yale University in 1992.

6. Judge William S. Pocan: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Judge William S. Pocan is the Deputy Chief Judge of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he has served since 2006. From 1985 to 2006, Judge Pocan was an associate at Jastroch & LaBarge in Waukesha, where he represented consumers. From 1984 to 1985, Judge Pocan was an associate at Brookhouse & Brookhouse in Kenosha, where he handled family and bankruptcy law matters.

Judge Pocan received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1984 and his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 1981.

7. Jennifer L. Rochon: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Jennifer L. Rochon is the first General Counsel of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Previously, Ms. Rochon was a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP from 2006 to 2013 and an associate at the firm from 2000 to 2006. Ms. Rochon served as a law clerk for Judge Maryanne Trump Barry on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2000 and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey from 1997 to 1999.

Ms. Rochon received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 1997 and her A.B., with distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1992.

8. Judge Fred W. Slaughter: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Central District of California

Judge Fred W. Slaughter has served as a California Superior Court Judge on the Superior Court of Orange County since 2014. From 2002 to 2014, Judge Slaughter served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the criminal sections of three federal districts in the Ninth Circuit: the Central District of California from 2004 to 2008 and from 2010 to 2014; the District of Oregon from 2008 to 2010; and the District of Arizona from 2002 to 2004. While working in the Central District of California, Judge Slaughter also served as the Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator from 2004 to 2006 and the Deputy Chief for the Santa Ana Branch Office from 2012 to 2013. From 2000 to 2002, Judge Slaughter served as a Deputy City Attorney for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Judge Slaughter served as a law clerk for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office’s criminal and airport divisions in 1999.

Judge Slaughter received his J.D. from UCLA Law School in 1999 and his B.A. from UCLA in 1996.

9. Judge Sunshine Suzanne Sykes: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Central District of California

Judge Sunshine Suzanne Sykes has served as a California Superior Court Judge on the Superior Court of Riverside County since 2013. She currently presides over a civil litigation department and is the presiding judge of the appellate division. From 2005 to 2013, Judge Sykes served as a Deputy County Counsel in the Office of County Counsel for Riverside County, handling litigation on behalf of government entities and serving as a juvenile dependency trial attorney representing the California Department of Public Social Services on matters concerning abused and neglected children. From 2003 to 2005, Judge Sykes worked as a contract attorney for the Juvenile Defense Panel at the Southwest Justice Center. From 2001 to 2003, she was a staff attorney for California Indian Legal Services. Judge Sykes is a member of the Navajo Nation and is a descendant of the Coyote Pass-Jemez Clan.

Judge Sykes received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2001 and her B.A from Stanford University in 1997.

Local D.C. Courts

1. Judge Errol Rajesh Arthur: Nominee for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

Judge Errol Rajesh Arthur has served as a Magistrate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia since 2010. He has served in the Criminal Division, Domestic Violence Division, and Family Court. He is currently Presiding Magistrate Judge and serves on the Chief Judge’s Judicial Leadership Team. From 2002 to 2010, Judge Arthur was a solo practitioner and then a named partner at Arthur & Arthur, P.L.L.C., where he represented clients in criminal, family, and civil matters. From 1999 to 2002, Judge Arthur worked as a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Judge Arthur served as a clerk for Judge Mary A. Gooden Terrell on the District of Columbia Superior Court from 1998 to 1999. Judge Arthur received his J.D. from the Howard University School of Law in 1998 and his B.A. from the University of Maryland in 1994.

2. Judge Leslie A. Meek: Nominee for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

Judge Leslie A. Meek has served as an Administrative Law Judge with the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings since 2014. From 2006 to 2014, Judge Meek served as an Administrative Law Judge and Appellate Administrative Law Judge with the Administrative Hearings Division of the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services. From 1995 to 2003, Judge Meek served as Assistant General Counsel and then General Counsel for the United Teachers of Dade in Miami, Florida. From 1994 to 1995, Judge Meek served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami, and from 1992 to 1994, she worked as an Assistant General Counsel for the Comptroller of the State of Florida. Judge Meek began her career working in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. Judge Meek received her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1990 and her B.A. from Fisk University in 1987. 

3. Carl Ezekiel Ross: Nominee for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia

Carl Ezekiel Ross has served as counsel to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Ethics since 2017. From 2009 to 2017, Mr. Ross served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in the Civil Division. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Ross worked as a litigation associate at Arnold & Porter LLP. Mr. Ross served as a clerk for Judge James R. Spencer on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2003 to 2004. He received his J.D. from the William & Mary School of Law in 2003 and his B.A. from Oral Roberts University in 1999.

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