Civil Rights Champion Alison Nathan Deserves Swift Confirmation

Press Release


LGBTQ+ Americans

Press Contact

Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 15, 2021 – This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its latest hearing to continue processing President Biden’s impressive roster of judicial nominees.

The first panel featured Judge Alison Nathan, nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Nathan has served as a U.S. district judge since 2011, when she was confirmed as only the third openly LGBTQ+ federal judge ever. If confirmed to this seat, she will become only the second LGBTQ+ woman to serve on an appeals court, following Judge Beth Robinson, who was confirmed less than two months ago.

In her decade on the court, Judge Nathan has authored 1,546 opinions and has sat by designation on the Second Circuit more than 30 times. She has consistently demonstrated a commitment to equal justice in the rule of law. For example, she ruled in favor of New York voters who were deprived of the right to cast their ballot because their names had been removed from “active status” lists. She ruled against a New York Police Department officer for holding a suspect in a banned chokehold for roughly 23 seconds and tasing him 13 times in response to a noise violation. And she is currently presiding over the high-profile trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, which she will see through to its finish even if confirmed.

Prior to her confirmation to the bench, Judge Nathan served as Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to President Obama and then as Special Counsel to the Solicitor General of New York. Earlier in her career, her private practice work focused on Supreme Court and appellate litigation and she devoted substantial time to pro bono representations.

The second panel of the hearing featured several impressive nominees to the district courts:

  • Georgette Castner (District of New Jersey)
  • Ruth Bermudez Montenegro (Southern District of California)
  • Julie Rubin (District of Maryland)
  • Anne Rachel Traum (District of Nevada)
  • Cristina D. Silva (District of Nevada)

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

“Judge Allison Nathan is an extraordinary nominee with an extensive judicial record demonstrating a clear commitment to equal justice under the law. Judge Nathan also brings important demographic and experiential diversity to our federal circuit courts at a time when anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry is on the rise in many communities. Our nation is made stronger and more responsive to the needs of millions of Americans with people like Judge Nathan holding such a powerful seat in the federal judiciary.

“As the year draws to a close, it is encouraging to see Senate Democrats keep up their record-breaking pace processing judicial nominations and confirmations. We look forward to Judge Nathan and the other nominees being swiftly confirmed to their respective seats.”