Five Women Of Color A Step Closer To Being Federal Judges

Press Release

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Carolyn Bobb

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 26, 2022 – The Senate Judiciary Committee voted this morning on the nominations of five women to our federal courts, including two nominees to the circuit courts. All that’s left is for the full Senate to consider their confirmations, though that includes the extra step of a discharge petition for Nancy G. Abudu, who received a tie vote in committee. 

Nancy G. Abudu, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, has shown a relentless commitment to fighting for fairness for all. She is an experienced civil rights attorney and a leading voting rights expert. She built her career at both the ACLU and more recently at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where she spearheaded the creation of the Center’s Voting Rights Practice Group and supervised litigation in both the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits. She would be the first Black woman to serve on the Eleventh Circuit. She would also be just the second woman of color to ever serve on the Eleventh Circuit, and only the third Black judge, as well as the first person of color from the state of Georgia.  

Judge J. Michelle Childs, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has already received national attention as one of the leading contenders President Biden considered for Justice Stephen Breyer’s announced Supreme Court vacancy. She began her service as a judge at the state level in 2006 and has served on the U.S. District Court in South Carolina since 2010. In addition to her years of experience on the bench, Judge Childs has years of expertise in both private practice and state government. When she was confirmed to her current judgeship, she was only the third woman and third Black judge to serve at the federal level in South Carolina. 

Other district court nominees advanced today were: 

  • Natasha C. Merle (Eastern District of New York)  
  • Nusrat Jahan Choudhury (Eastern District of New York)  
  • Ana Isabel de Alba (Eastern District of California) 

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

“The confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson elevated the conversation about the importance of women of color on our courts — and the trend of greater inclusion will continue. Today we see five highly qualified women ready to take their place upholding equal justice. Judge Childs will bring years of experience to her new role, Ms. Abudu’s expertise on voting rights will serve our courts well at a crucial time for our democracy, and Ms. Choudhury will add crucial civil rights experience to the Eastern District of New York. 

“The president is doing the work to nominate highly qualified and diverse individuals, and Chair Durbin and the Senate Judiciary Committee are completing the vetting process at an impressive pace. Now it’s up to the full Senate to vote these nominees across the finish line. We have so many vacancies we need to fill this year, and we look forward to the Senate ensuring the pace meets that goal.”