President Biden has announced his intent to nominate three new Court of Appeals nominees and three new District Court nominees, who will bring deep credentials and qualifications to the federal bench, as well as career-long devotion to our Constitution and the rule of law. These individuals embody President Biden’s commitment to ensure that his judicial nominees represent not only the excellence but the diversity of our nation with respect to both personal and professional backgrounds.
Many of them are groundbreaking choices, including:
- the second judge of Hispanic origin to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the second judge from Puerto Rico ever to sit on the First Circuit;
- the second African American woman ever to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, who would also be the only judge with experience as a federal defender serving on that circuit;
- an immigrant who came to the United States as a small child and would be the only judge with experience as a federal defender serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit;
- only the third active Native American federal judge currently serving in the entire United States, and the first Native American federal judge in Washington State history;
- the first African American district court judge to sit in the Camden courthouse of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey;
- the second African American woman judge and the second Asian American judge to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
This is President Biden’s third slate of judicial nomination announcements, and he has now put forward 20 names for federal judicial vacancies.
President Biden has spent decades committed to strengthening the federal bench, which is why he continues to move at a historically fast pace with respect to judicial nominations. His first announcement of candidates for the judiciary was made faster than that of any new President in modern American history, and today’s announcement further continues that trend.
Gustavo A. Gelpí, Jr.: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Chief Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí, Jr. is a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and has served as chief judge of the court since 2018. Judge Gelpí was confirmed unanimously to the district court in 2006. Judge Gelpí previously served as a magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 2001 to 2006. Prior to his appointment in 2001, Judge Gelpí worked in the litigation department of the McConnell Valdés law firm. Previously, Judge Gelpí was the Solicitor General of Puerto Rico from 1999 to 2000. He also served as the Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Puerto Rico Department of Justice from 1997 to 1999 and special counsel to the Puerto Rico Attorney General in 1997. Judge Gelpí served as special counsel to the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 1996 and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender from 1993 to 1996. Judge Gelpí began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico from 1991 to 1993.
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Judge Gelpí received his J.D. from Suffolk University in 1991 and his B.A. from Brandeis University in 1987.
Eunice C. Lee, Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Eunice C. Lee is an Assistant Federal Defender with the Federal Defenders of New York. Before joining the Federal Defenders, Ms. Lee worked from 1998 to 2019 with the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. She joined the office as a Staff Attorney and was named Supervising Attorney in 2001. She served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law from 2003 to 2019, teaching a criminal appellate defense clinic. Ms. Lee also served as Director of Recruitment and Outreach at the Office of the Appellate Defender from 2003 until her departure in 2019. During her career, Ms. Lee has represented over 380 indigent clients in proceedings before state and federal appellate courts on direct appeal, in post-judgment motions, and in habeas proceedings. Ms. Lee began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge Susan J. Dlott on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio from 1996 to 1997, and Judge Eric L. Clay on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1997 to 1998.
Ms. Lee received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1996 and her B.A. from Ohio State University in 1993.
Veronica S. Rossman, Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Veronica S. Rossman has served as Senior Counsel to the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming since 2017. From 2015 to 2017, Ms. Rossman served as the Appellate Division Chief of her office, and she previously worked as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Appellate Division from 2010 to 2015. Ms. Rossman was a visiting professor at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law from 2008 to 2010, and she worked as a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 2007 to 2008. From 2004 to 2005, Ms. Rossman was an attorney with the law firm of Mastbaum and Moffat. Ms. Rossman first worked as an Assistant Federal Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming in 2003, where she served in the Trial Division. During her career, she has represented over 250 indigent clients. From 1998 to 2002, she was a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP. Ms. Rossman began her legal career as a law clerk for Chief Justice A. William Maupin on the Nevada Supreme Court from 1997 to 1998.
Ms. Rossman received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1997 and her B.A. from Columbia University in 1993.
Angel Kelley: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Angel Kelley has served as an Associate Judge on the Massachusetts state court since 2009, with an initial appointment to the District Court then appointed to the Superior Court in 2013. During her term as a Superior Court judge she held a leadership position as the Regional Administrative Judge on the Massachusetts Superior Court from 2017 to 2020. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Kelley served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2009. Previously, she was a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School from 2005 to 2007 and an attorney for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1997 to 2005. She began her legal career as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society in the Juvenile Rights Division in Brooklyn, New York from 1993 to 1997.
Judge Kelley received her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University in 2003, her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1992, and her B.A. from Colgate University in 1989.
Lauren J. King: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Lauren J. King is a principal at Foster Garvey, P.C. based in Seattle, Washington, where she has practiced since 2012. She chairs the firm’s Native American Law Practice Group and has served as a pro tem appellate judge for the Northwest Intertribal Court System since 2013. Ms. King is also an appointed Commissioner on the Washington State Gambling Commission. She previously taught Federal Indian Law at the Seattle University School of Law. Prior to joining Foster Garvey, King was an associate at Byrnes Keller Cromwell LLP from 2010 to 2012 and at K&L Gates from 2008 to 2009. Ms. King graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2008, and from the University of Washington, with distinction, in 2004. Ms. King is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation, which is located in Oklahoma.
Karen M. Williams: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Karen M. Williams has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey since 2009. Judge Williams also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Prior to her appointment, Judge Williams spent 17 years in private practice at Jasinski & Williams, P.C. in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Judge Williams’s work focused on employment law, including litigation in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies. Judge Williams received her J.D. from the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in 1992 and her B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1985.