Judicial Nominees Will Bring Diverse Experience to the Federal Bench

Courts News 09.21.22

Contact: Rachel Hooper, [email protected]

WASHINGTONLena Zwarensteyn, senior director of the fair courts program at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of six judicial nominees, including Julie Rikelman to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Judge Margaret Guzman to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Araceli Martínez-Olguín to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and Jamal Whitehead to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

“The nominees we heard from today have spent their careers upholding equal justice for all people. Julie Rikelman will be a tremendous addition to the First Circuit, bringing her deep commitment to equal justice and exceptional legal experience. She will also be the first immigrant woman and first Jewish woman to ever sit on the court. Judge Margaret Guzman has significant experience as a public defender and will be the first Latina to serve as a lifetime judge for the District of Massachusetts. Civil rights lawyer Araceli Martínez-Olguín has done extensive work protecting the rights of immigrants and would be the second Latina ever to serve on the Northern District of California. And Jamal Whitehead has critical experience defending victims of workplace discrimination and would bring vital perspectives to the judiciary as President Biden’s first judicial nominee with a known disability.

“We urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm these exceptionally qualified nominees as an important step towards ensuring that our federal courts reflect the varied perspectives and diversity of our nation.”

Read The Leadership Conference’s letter in support of the confirmation of Julie Rikelman.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.