Story at a glance
- The White House announced its 17th round of nominees to fill judicial vacancies.
- Ana C. Reyes, a lawyer who works on cross-border litigation and international arbitration, was among them.
- Reyes was born in Uruguay and grew up in Louisville, Ky.
President Biden has nominated another slate of federal judicial judges, and this time, if confirmed, the U.S. could have its first Hispanic woman to ever serve on a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the court’s first openly LGBTQ person.
Biden introduced his 17th round of nominees for federal judicial positions this week and his fifth slate of nominations this year alone to fill judicial vacancies. To date, the president has announced 95 federal judicial nominees.
Of his latest round of nominees, Ana C. Reyes stands to make history. She’s currently a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams & Connolly LLP, where she’s worked since 2001. She focuses on cross-border litigation and international arbitration, while also taking on pro bono work to represent asylum seekers and refugee organizations.
Reyes herself is an immigrant, born in Uruguay and moved to Louisville, Ky. According to the White House, Reyes is also openly LGBTQ, and, if confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, she would be the first one in history to ever serve on that court.
Reyes could join another history-making nominee: Judge Patricia Guerreo who was confirmed to the California Supreme Court in March and became the first Latina to serve on that court. Guerreo is also the child of Mexican immigrants.
Before landing at Williams & Connolly LLP, Reyes served as a law clerk for Judge Amalya Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 2000 to 2001. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2000 and her master’s in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Reyes’ nomination is alongside four others: Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam who is nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Lara E. Montecalvo who has been nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. For his district court nominees, Biden also nominated Judge Elizabeth Hanes for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and Anna M. Nardacci for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
The president hopes to confirm his nominees rapidly but has been slowed by his party’s GOP counterparts. Last month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) accused fellow committee member Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) of blocking Justice Department nominees, saying Cotton was “in the process of defunding law enforcement at the federal level.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee also experienced a slight slowdown while working to confirm Biden’s historic Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson. The panel had its first tie on a high court pick since 1991, the last one occurring during Justin Clarence Thomas’s nomination. Jackon’s confirmation still went through, with the Senate voting on April 7 to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court.
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