Holly Thomas Is The Quintessential Qualified Judge

Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20, 2021 – This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for the nomination of Judge Holly Thomas to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Thomas is an exceptionally qualified nominee with a breadth of legal experience in civil rights and prosecution, litigation and administration, and civil and criminal law at the state and federal levels that few judicial nominees could rival. She deserves a swift and bipartisan confirmation.  

Judge Thomas currently serves on the Los Angeles County Superior Court, where she has presided over hundreds of cases that have gone to verdict or judgment and overseen thousands more hearings. This year, she has served as a Judge pro tem on the California Second District Court of Appeal. 

Prior to her experience as a judge, Thomas had experience as a civil rights attorney, a prosecutor, a litigator, a criminal law attorney, a civil law attorney, a state law practitioner, and a federal law practitioner. This includes work at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the New York Solicitor General’s Office, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. 

Due to her impeccable credentials and unassailable record, Senate Republicans largely avoided asking questions related to Judge Thomas’s qualifications and experience, and instead used today’s hearing as a platform to make false, deeply hurtful and stigmatizing attacks against members of the transgender community. 

Thomas is the first Black woman to be nominated to the Ninth Circuit in California and would be the court’s second Black woman ever. 

A second panel of district court nominees included several other exceptional judicial nominees worthy of confirmation: Mary Katherine Dimke (Eastern District of Washington), Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong (Central District of California), Charlotte N. Sweeney (District of Colorado), Jennifer L. Thurston (Eastern District of California), Hernan D. Vera (Central District of California). 

Alliance for Justice President Rakim Brooks issued the following statement: 

“As demonstrated during today’s hearing, Judge Holly Thomas has an extraordinary breadth of experience and superior judicial temperament, making her an ideal nominee to serve on the Ninth Circuit. Judge Thomas should be confirmed by all 100 senators without hesitation or delay.  

“It also should not escape our notice that President Biden and Senate Democrats continue to take both professional and experiential diversity seriously. Judge Thomas is just the latest of an already stellar group of nominees, led by women of color, who will restore the integrity of our judiciary.” 

Click here to learn more about Judge Thomas’s Record.