President Joe Biden announced another historic slate of judicial nominees on Wednesday who would bring badly needed diversity to the nation’s federal courts, reports the Huffington Post.
His picks also begin to address a major
vacancy problem on California’s courts.
Biden announced a total of eight new judicial nominees; three would fill seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and five would fill seats on U.S. district courts. All are up for lifetime appointments.
His picks include Lucy Koh, 53, for the 9th Circuit. Koh has been a U.S. district judge in California since 2010, and if confirmed, she would be the first Korean American woman to ever serve as a U.S. appeals court judge.
Biden also tapped Holly Thomas, 41, for the 9th Circuit. Thomas is currently a judge in the Family Law Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, and previously was a deputy director at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. If confirmed, she would be the second Black woman to ever serve on the 9th Circuit.
The president also named Gabriel Sanchez, 45, for the 9th Circuit. Sanchez has been an associate justice on the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, since 2018, and previously worked as deputy legal affairs secretary to Gov. Jerry Brown (D).
Biden’s other nominees include Katherine Marie Menendez for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota; Hernán D. Vera for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; David Herrera Urias for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico; and Jennifer L. Thurston for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Notably, Biden also picked Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Frimpong has been a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2016 and, if confirmed, she would be the only Black woman serving as an active judge on any of California’s four federal district courts.