Biden makes first judicial nominations including an Indian American

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Biden makes first judicial nominations including an Indian American

By Reena Bhardwaj President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) announced his intent to nominate 10 individuals to serve as Federal Circuit and District Court judges, that includes an Indian American and one individual to serve as a Superior Court Judge for the District of Columbia.

The President has nominated Indian American Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta: Nominee for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. “Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta currently serves as an Administrative Judge for the D.C. Rental Housing Commission. Prior to joining the Commission in 2019, Judge Puttagunta was a solo practitioner from 2013 to 2019, representing indigent criminal defendants in trial and on appeal. Before opening her own practice, Judge Puttagunta practiced family and appellate law at Delaney McKinney, LLP from 2012 to 2013,” the readout from the White House read.

While working on domestic relations matters in private practice, Judge Puttagunta also provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services by volunteering at D.C. Superior Court’s Family Court Self-Help Center and Attorney Negotiator Program and representing victims of domestic violence in D.C. Superior Court. Judge Puttagunta began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge William M. Jackson of the D.C. Superior Court from 2008 to 2010, as well as the Senior Judges of the D.C. Court of Appeals from 2010 to 2011. Judge Puttagunta received her J.D. from Ohio State Moritz College of Law in 2007 and her B.A. from Vassar College in 2002.

The list released by the White House is a diverse one: more than nine of the nominees are women and are people of color. It includes three African American women tapped for Circuit Court vacancies and candidates who would be the first Muslim- American federal judge in U.S. history, the first AAPI woman to ever serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C., and the first woman of color to ever serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland. Judge Zahid N. Quraishi, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey is of Pakistani Heritage and if nominated, he will serve as the first Muslim American federal judge.

According to a readout from The White House, “These nominees consist of attorneys who have excelled in the legal field in a wide range of positions, including as renowned jurists, public defenders, prosecutors, in the private sector, in the military, and as public servants at all levels of government.” The intent to nominate 11 individuals today is faster than any President in modern history. With respect to Circuit and District Courts, none of the last four administrations had nominated more than two candidates by this point in their presidency.

“This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession. Each is deeply qualified and prepared to deliver justice faithfully under our Constitution and impartially to the American people — and together they represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong,” the President said. (ANI)

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