Support the Confirmation of Judge Todd Edelman to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

View PDF of letter here.


Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 230 national organizations committed to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we write to express our strong support for the confirmation of Judge Todd Edelman to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Leadership Conference intends to include your position on the confirmation of Judge Edelman in our voting record for the 117th Congress.

Judge Edelman’s significant legal career and experience as a fair-minded jurist will make him a great addition to this court. Currently, Judge Edelman is the deputy presiding judge of the Civil Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where he also served as an associate judge. Before his elevation to the bench, he was of counsel for Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. and held numerous positions with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, including training director, chief of the Serious Felony Section, and supervising attorney of the Trial Division. Judge Edelman has trained future lawyers as an adjunct and visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a Prettyman Fellow representing indigent clients. A graduate of Yale University and New York University School of Law, he clerked for Judge William Bryant of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. As Judge Edelman’s long record in public service and commitment to equal justice demonstrate, he is well qualified for this seat.

Judge Edelman has shown a dedication to public service and the protection of people’s rights throughout his career. During his three years as of counsel at Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C., he represented unions and their members, both in court and in settlement or mediation conferences. For example, Judge Edelman secured favorable settlements for classes of retired employees unable to afford their health care plans after their respective former employers greatly increased health care insurance premiums.[1] In addition, Judge Edelman has shown that he is a neutral arbiter on these matters. In District of Columbia v. Bongam, Judge Edelman determined that a home health provider in Washington, D.C., failed to pay the proper earned wages to a class of their former employees in violation of the District of Columbia Wage Payment & Collection Law.[2] Judge Edelman’s admirable experience as a fair-minded judge and exceptional lawyer would bring crucial and underrepresented experience to this court.

Judge Edelman also spent eight years with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, representing clients who could not afford an attorney and ensuring they had access to justice. During this time, he litigated many important cases that resulted in lasting legal effect. For example, he appealed a lower court’s decision after they denied Judge Edelman’s objection that the prosecution’s dismissal of every Black woman in the pool of prospective jurors constituted race and gender discrimination, in violation of the equal protection clause.[3] Creating the first precedential case on this matter in Washington, D.C., the court of appeals agreed with Judge Edelman, ruling that if a juror is struck based on a combination of race and gender, not just one or the other, that is a constitutional violation.[4] Even after he transitioned to private practice, Judge Edelman remained committed to advancing criminal-legal work through his pro bono practice, spending hundreds of hours volunteering with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project — a non-profit working to exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted. Judge Edelman’s commitment to pursuing equal justice for all people makes him eminently qualified to serve on the court.

Judge Edelman is an excellent choice for this position, and we strongly urge the Senate to confirm him to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact Lena Zwarensteyn, senior director of the fair courts program, at (202) 466-3311. Thank you for your consideration.


Maya Wiley
President & CEO

Jesselyn McCurdy
Executive Vice President of Government Affairs


[1] See e.g., Fields v. Lyon Workspace Products et al., No. 1:07-cv-6894 (N.D. Ill.); Riggs et al. v. Dayco Products, LLC, et al., No. 1:05-cv-91 (W.D.N.C.).

[2] District of Columbia v. Bongam, No. 2007 CA 5472 (D.C. Super. 2017).

[3] United States v. Robinson, No. F.4436 01 (D.C. Super. Ct. 2002).

[4] Robinson v. United States, 878 A.2d 1273 (D.C. 2005).