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Progressive Groups Celebrate Biden’s ‘Trailblazing’ Judicial Nominees

Progressive groups applauded President Joe Biden’s first batch of federal judicial nominations, which included black, Muslim and Pacific Islander candidates for top court positions nationwide.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, an organization that “seeks structural changes” to achieve racial justice, and Demand Justice, which characterizes itself as a “progressive movement” fighting for court reform, both celebrated President Joe Biden’s list of nominees shortly after it was released. Biden announced the nominations early Tuesday morning.

“This list powerfully affirms that nominees who are racially diverse and whose professional background reflects a broad range of practice are available to serve on the federal bench,” NAACP Legal Defense Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement.

“We are gratified that President Biden has, with this first presentation of judicial nominees, demonstrated his intention to fulfill his promise to bring greater diversity to the federal bench,” she continued. “This is an exciting and important beginning.”

Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is black, to fill the vacancy left by Attorney General Merrick Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Former President Barack Obama reportedly considered Jackson for the Supreme Court in 2016, The Associated Press reported.

Jackson notably ruled against the Department of Homeland Security on fast-track deportations in 2019, according to legal blog The Vetting Room. That same year, Jackson ruled that former President Donald Trump legal counsel Don McGahn had to testify before the House regarding the Mueller Report, declaring that “no one is above the law.”

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a rising star whose time on the Court of Appeals may prove a stepping stone,” Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon said in a statement. “She and the other public defenders and civil rights lawyers in this group are exactly the kind of judges we need to rebalance our courts.”

Biden’s list also includes Tiffany Cunningham, a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie, which paid for research included in the Russia dossier, and Zahid Quraishi, who would be the first Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history if confirmed by the Senate.

“This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

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