Biden crew asks Senate Democrats to suggest public defenders, civil rights legal professionals for federal bench

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The Biden team asks the Senate Democrats to recommend defenders and civil rights attorneys for the Bundesbank

President-elect Joe Biden is asking Democratic senators to recommend candidates for judicial nominations and to prioritize potential candidates who have served as defense lawyers and civil rights attorneys – professions that are severely under-represented at the Bundesbank.

Dana Remus, Biden’s choice to serve as White House attorney when he took office next month, sent a letter to the Democratic Senators this month asking for their contributions to the district court seats in their states, and they have not Corporate law typical of a federal judge or the family tree of the public prosecutor’s office.

“With respect to US District Court positions, we are particularly focused on nominating individuals whose legal experience has historically been underrepresented at the Bundesbank, including individuals who are defense lawyers, civil rights advocates, and legal aid attorneys, and individuals who are Americans in any way represent life, “Remus wrote in the letter The Hill had received.

The December 22nd letter was first reported by HuffPost on Thursday.

The letter comes because advocacy groups have urged Biden’s transition team to take a different approach to appointing federal judges than previous administrations.

The recent presidents of both parties have filled the judiciary with ex-prosecutors, lawyers hailing primarily from reputable law firms specializing in representing large corporations or a combination of both.

The Center for American Progress published a study in August that found that 65 percent of Circuit Court justices sitting directly under the Supreme Court had spent most of their legal careers in private practice, usually in large law firms. Only three had spent their career as a defense attorney, and only one was a nonprofit attorney, according to the study.

A 2014 study by the progressive group Alliance for Justice (AFJ) found that former President Obama had contributed to this trend. According to the AFJ, by then, 85 percent of Obama candidates were corporate attorneys, prosecutors, or both.

Remus’ letter is a victory for proponents who urged Biden to approach the judiciary nominations differently than his Democratic predecessors.

Christopher Kang, co-founder of the progressive group Demand Justice, welcomed the move and urged Senate Democrats to honor it.

“These are exactly the priorities and processes that we have been pushing for and that are needed to rebalance our courts after four years of Trump and McConnell,” Kang said in a statement. “President-elect Biden’s focus on professional diversity from the start shows his commitment to building on the historic demographic diversity of President Obama’s judges, and his clear timetable underscores that judges will be a priority from day one of his term in office.”

“This letter also sets the tone for senators who have traditionally played an oversized – albeit often undervalued – role in the appointment of judicial officers who may be the cause of delays or recommending too many lawyers with over-represented backgrounds such as corporate law firms and prosecutors “, he added. “Now the senators are advised to follow Biden’s lead and to make several timely recommendations from lawyers that would restore the balance and legitimacy of our courts.”

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