AFJ Applauds Continued Progress for Lower Court Nominees

Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 2, 2022 – Today the Senate Judiciary Committee continued its work processing President Biden’s nominees to the federal district and circuit courts. Today’s hearing featured Arianna J. Freeman, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Judge Stephanie D. Davis, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, as well as three district court nominees: Robert Steven Huie (Southern District of California), Jennifer H. Rearden (Southern District of New York), and Evelyn Padin (District of New Jersey).  

Arianna Freeman has dedicated her entire legal career to public service through her work at the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As a public defender, she has represented indigent individuals who are typically incarcerated in state or federal prisons and subject to lengthy criminal sentences. She has experience representing more than 15 individuals facing death sentences through the office’s Capital Habeas Unit and has also argued dozens of federal habeas matters through its Non-Capital Habeas Unit. Since 2016, she has served as that unit’s Managing Attorney, and she has experience practicing before both the federal district and the Third Circuit. She would be the first Black woman and first woman of color to ever serve on the Third Circuit. 

 Judge Stephanie Davis brings extensive experience as both a practicing attorney and jurist. She served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge 2016–2019 and as a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Michigan since then. She was confirmed to her current judgeship without opposition. Her record includes numerous cases upholding the rights of people with disabilities, First Amendment rights, and voting rights. She also previously provided pro bono representation to survivors of domestic violence. Davis would be the first Black woman from Michigan to serve on the Sixth Circuit. 

Alliance for Justice supports the swift confirmation of all of these well-qualified nominees. 

Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement: 

“President Biden may have named Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his Supreme Court nominee, but we are by no means done talking about the phenomenal Black women ready to serve on all of our federal courts. Both Arianna Freeman and Judge Stephanie Davis are exceptionally qualified jurists. They have dedicated their legal careers to public service, and both will bring important professional and demographic diversity to their respective circuit courts.  

“We are glad to see the Senate Judiciary Committee continuing to expeditiously process these nominees, even as its members prepare for the Supreme Court nomination process as well. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin is to be particularly commended for his commitment to keeping up the pace. We look forward to seeing all of these capable nominees confirmed swiftly so that we can continue filling the remaining vacancies on our courts by the end of this year.”