AFJ Applauds Vibrant New Slate of Judicial Nominees

Press Release


Press Contact


Carolyn Bobb
carolyn.bobb@afj.org
240-271-7069

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2024 – Today the White House announced President Biden’s 48th slate of district court nominees, one that is a true recommitment to adding important diversity to the bench. Of the seven nominees, all seven are women, four are people of color, and six will add professional diversity to the bench, including four whom AFJ is celebrating as true movement lawyers. All are exceptionally well qualified for the federal bench, dispelling the antiquated notion that there is a tradeoff between diversity and quality.

Judge Michelle Court, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, is a Black woman who has served as a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2012. Her experience before that includes serving as general counsel for Bet Tzedek, a nonprofit law firm that serves low-income Angelenos, and she spent the late 90s on housing justice issues as a civil rights fellow at HUD and a litigation associate at Litt and Marquez.

Judge Anne Hwang, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, is an AAPI woman who has served as a judge on the Los Angeles County Superior Court since 2018. She spent more than a decade before that as a federal public defender, working her way up to chief deputy federal defender for the district she is now nominated to.

Judge Cynthia Valenzuela Dixon, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, is a Latina who has served as a judge on the California State Bar Court in Los Angeles since 2016. Before that role, she was the Criminal Justice Act supervising attorney for this circuit, overseeing the federal indigent defense panel. She also has experience as head of national litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and before that worked as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and as a special assistant at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Danna Jackson, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, is a Native American woman who has spent her entire career dedicated to natural resources and Indian law.  That includes serving as tribal attorney for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, as a senior counselor at the U.S. Department of the Interior for both the director of the Bureau of Land Management and the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.

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

“This slate of judicial nominees exemplifies our ideals for our courts. If the Constitution calls for a nation governed by ‘we the people,’ that means we must have judges from all backgrounds committed to serving all people. We need more women on the courts. We need more people of color on the courts. And we need more judges who have worked to serve the least of us such as the civil rights attorneys and public defenders named here.

“Every one of these exceptional nominees deserves a swift confirmation process. At a time when it feels like judicial nominations are facing a bit of a logjam in the Senate, we can only hope this slate sparks new momentum to continue transforming our courts for the better through the end of 2024.”