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Biden nominates progressive DA as US attorney in Massachusetts

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President Biden announced on Monday that he would be nominating Boston’s progressive district attorney to be the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, elevating a local criminal justice reformer who has shifted her office’s focus away from prosecuting low-level crimes.

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins (D) was among a slate of eight nominees for U.S. attorney posts announced by the White House.

Though Rollins has served as a federal prosecutor in the past, her appointment is notable given her advocacy on criminal justice reform and, if confirmed, she will become the first Black woman to fill the Massachusetts U.S. attorney role.

Biden also nominated Matthew Graves to serve as the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, where he would be tasked with overseeing the Justice Department’s prosecutions against Capitol riot participants.

Graves, currently a partner at the firm DLA Piper, spent a decade at the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office, including a stint leading its public corruption section.

The picks are some of Biden’s first nominations to the 93 U.S. attorney positions around the country.

While most of the group appear to be traditional candidates for those roles, Rollins’s nomination will likely be an encouraging sign for those who have pushed Biden to pick a new breed of federal prosecutors by following the lead of voters in cities around the country who have elected district attorneys who have campaigned on lowering incarceration rates.

Rollins was elected to the local prosecutor’s office in 2018 and implemented policies to abstain from prosecuting many nonviolent, low-level crimes. 

Tags biden administration Joe Biden Judicial nominations Massachusetts progressive U.S. attorney

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