By Margot Moss
Although President Biden took office with the fewest judicial vacancies for a new president in over 3 decades, nearly 50 federal judges announced their retirement since Biden's inauguration. This nearly doubles his opportunities to appoint lifetime judges.
With these vacancies, President Biden and his top lawyers are making an effort to increase professional and demographic diversity. Just yesterday, Veronica Rossman, a longtime assistant federal defender, was confirmed by the Senate to the Tenth Circuit. She will join other former federal defenders on the Circuit Bench, including Ketanji Brown Jackson (D.C. Circuit), Gustavo A. Gelpi, Jr. (First Circuit), and Eunice C. Lee (Second Circuit) - who also all happen to be individuals of color. Still awaiting confirmation is Candace Jackson-Akiwumi (Seventh Circuit), who practiced for over 10 years as an assistant federal defender. Former public defenders are also being appointed to the District Court bench, including Omar A. Williams (D. Ct.), Jia M. Cobb (D.D.C.), Margaret Strickland (D.N.M.), and many others.
But we still need more! At a time when diversity is encouraged and applauded, this should include diversity of legal background as well.
No update yet on the two openings in our District. Note that Michael Caruso is on the list of finalists. Not only is he the Federal Defender, but he is also a fellow blogger!
Happy Autumn Equinox! Can’t believe the year has gone by so fast.