Yesterday, the Biden administration announced its 42nd round of judicial nominees to the federal bench. Among the nominees are several individuals who will make history if confirmed, including Adeel Mangi, nominee for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals who would become the first Muslim American to serve as a federal circuit court judge and the first South Asian to serve on the Third Circuit; Nicole Berner, nominee for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals who would be the first openly LGBTQ+ judge on the Fourth Circuit; and Judge Cristal Brisco, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, who would become the first woman of color and first Black woman on the bench in the district court to which she was nominated.
Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai Nelson and Associate Director-Counsel Tona Boyd issued the following statements regarding these nominations.
“We commend the Biden administration’s continued commitment to advancing a professionally and demographically diverse set of nominees to the federal judiciary. The administration’s latest group of nominees again reflects this vital pledge, and includes a rich array of well-qualified individuals who will make exceptional jurists.
“In fact, if confirmed, several nominees will make historic inroads in our judicial system. Mr. Mangi would become the first Muslim American to be a federal circuit court judge, as well as the first South Asian to serve on the Third Circuit. Ms. Berner would be the first openly LGBTQ+ judge on the Fourth Circuit and would bring her experience as a labor lawyer to the role – a professional background that offers extensive civil rights expertise and deserves representation on our circuit courts. Judge Brisco would become the first woman of color and first Black woman on the bench in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
“We congratulate Mr. Mangi, Ms. Berner, and Judge Brisco on their well-deserved nominations and are confident they will make highly valuable contributions to our judicial system, both because of their professional skill sets and diverse set of lived experiences. We are also encouraged by the Biden administration’s steadfast efforts to continue putting forth such well-qualified nominees and urge the U.S. Senate to swiftly consider and confirm them.”
“It is critical that our federal courts reflect the diversity of our multiracial and multiethnic democracy, and that lawyers with all types of professional backgrounds have pathways to the bench. The Biden administration has once again made an investment in communities that have, for too long, been excluded from the federal judiciary. We applaud this announcement and urge the Senate to move quickly to consider and confirm these nominees so they can begin the important work of serving on our federal courts.”
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.