AFJ Applauds Confirmation of Veronica Rossman, President Biden’s Fifth Circuit Judge

Press Release

Press Contact

Carolyn Bobb

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2021 – This evening the Senate voted 50–42 to confirm Veronica Rossman to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Rossman spent the majority of her career as a federal public defender, representing over 250 indigent clients at the trial and appellate levels. She also has prior experience in civil litigation, including working on one of the largest international patent cases in history. Rossman is an active member of her community, and has volunteered with the ACLU of Colorado, the Colorado Bar Association’s Hate Crimes Education Program and the Faculty of Federal Advocates. 

Rossman’s confirmation marks the 12th federal judge that President Biden and Senate Democrats have confirmed so far, the most of any president at this point in their first term since President Nixon. Rossman is one of five circuit judges confirmed by President Biden and Senate Democrats this year, all of whom have been women. Four of President Biden’s confirmed circuit court judges have also been public defenders, including Rossman, fulfilling the Biden administration’s promise of bringing critically important professional and demographic diversity to the bench. 

By contrast, President Trump had only confirmed five lower court judges by this point in his first term, including three circuit court judges. All five of Trump’s first slate of confirmed judges are men, and four of five are white men. President Obama had successfully confirmed only one lower court judge by the same point in his first term. 

Alliance for Justice President Rakim Brooks issued the following statement: 

“President Biden and Senate Democrats are setting the bar for both the speedy confirmation of lower court judges and the quality of the jurists appointed. Each of President Biden’s 12 confirmed judges are exceptionally well qualified and bring important professional and demographic diversity to the bench. Veronica Rossman is the latest and greatest. As former public defenders, civil rights attorneys, labor organizers and more, Biden’s judicial nominees bring a wealth of professional and lived experience that will be invaluable to the federal judiciary. We are looking forward to many more confirmations to follow. 

Our democracy works best when people have faith and trust in our courts, so it is essential that our courts are fully representative of the diversity of our nation — not just the wealthy and the powerful. Greater diversity on the federal bench enables our courts to better meet the principle of equal justice for all.”