Altogether, the President has now put forward 20 names for federal judge vacancies.
The White House described many of the nominees as “groundbreaking choices,” and said in a statement: “These individuals embody President Biden’s commitment to ensure that his judicial nominees represent not only the excellence but the diversity of our nation with respect to both personal and professional backgrounds.”
Biden announced he would nominate Gustavo Gelpí Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Gelpí Jr. is a federal judge on the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and has served as chief judge of the court since 2018, according to the White House.
Gelpí received the backing of two Democratic members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva.
Velazquez, who used to chair the caucus, praised Gelpí as “a strong defender of civil rights and of the people of Puerto Rico” and urged the Senate to quickly confirm his nomination. She noted Gelpí would be just the second Hispanic judge to serve on the First Circuit.
Grijalva commended the Biden administration for “nominating a judge who has both denounced the racist underpinnings of the Insular Cases and criticized the Supreme Court and Congress for denying U.S. citizens residing in the Territories the legal rights the rest of us take for granted.”
He called for federal courts to extend national federal benefits to citizens living in US territories, including Puerto Rico.
Eunice Lee will be Biden’s nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Lee is an assistant federal defender with the Federal Defenders of New York. Prior to that post, Lee worked from 1998 to 2019 with the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City, the White House says.
Veronica Rossman is the President’s nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Rossman has served as senior counsel to the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming since 2017, and prior to that she served as the Appellate Division Chief of her office, according to the White House.
The President announced Angel Kelley is his nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Kelley has served as an associate judge on the Massachusetts state court since 2009. She was initially appointed to the District Court and later appointed to the Superior Court in 2013, according to the White House.
Lauren King is the President’s nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. King is a principal at Foster Garvey, P.C. and is based in Seattle. She chairs the firm’s Native American Law Practice Group and has served as a pro tem appellate judge for the Northwest Intertribal Court System since 2013, according to the White House. King is also an appointed commissioner on the Washington State Gambling Commission.
Karen Williams is Biden’s nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Williams has served as a US Magistrate Judge for the US District Court in the District of New Jersey since 2009, according to the White House. Prior to that appointment, Williams spent 17 years in private practice at Jasinski & Williams, P.C. in Atlantic City, New Jersey.