The President is announcing five new federal judicial nominees, all of whom are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.

These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.

For example, the slate includes: 

  • A nominee who would be the first Asian American judge to ever serve on the Seventh Circuit.
  • A nominee who would be the first Hispanic judge to ever serve on the Ninth Circuit from Washington State.
  • A nominee who would be the first Hispanic woman to ever serve as a federal judge in the state of Illinois.
  • A nominee who would be would be the only judge of color currently serving on the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, and the second African American judge to ever serve on the District of Delaware.

This is President Biden’s sixteenth round of nominees for federal judicial positions and his fourth slate of nominations in 2022, bringing the number of announced federal judicial nominees to 90.

President Biden has spent decades committed to strengthening the federal bench, which is why he continues to move rapidly to fill judicial vacancies. And he has won confirmation of the most lower court judges for the first year of a presidency since the Kennedy Administration.

Circuit Court

Judge John Z. Lee: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Judge John Z. Lee has served as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 2012. From 1999 to 2012, Judge Lee was an associate and then partner at Freeborn & Peters LLP in Chicago. From 1996 to 1999, Judge Lee was an associate at Grippo & Elden LLC, and from 1994 to 1996, he was an associate at Mayer Brown LLP. Mr. Lee served as a trial attorney in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1992 to 1994.

Judge Lee received his A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1989, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 1992.

Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr.: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. has served as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Washington since 2014. Judge Mendoza previously served as a Washington State Superior Court Judge from 2013 to 2014. From 1999 to 2013, Judge Mendoza was a solo practitioner then president of a small law firm in Eastern Washington, and also served as a judge pro tempore on various local courts. From 1998 to 1999, Judge Mendoza served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and from 1997 to 1998, he was an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Washington State Attorney General.

Judge Mendoza received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 1997, and his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1994.

District Court

Judge Stephen Henley Locher: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa

Judge Stephen Henley Locher has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Iowa since 2021. Judge Locher was previously a partner at Belin McCormick, P.C., in Des Moines, Iowa from 2013 to 2021. From 2008 to 2013, Judge Locher was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa. From 2004 to 2008, Judge Locher was an associate at Goldberg Kohn in Chicago. Judge Locher served as a law clerk for Judge John R. Gibson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from 2003 to 2004.

Judge Locher received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2003, and his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, in 2000.

Nancy L. Maldonado: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Nancy L. Maldonado is a partner at Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C. in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Maldonado joined the firm as an associate in 2003 and was elevated to partner in 2010. Ms. Maldonado previously served as a law clerk for Judge Rubén Castillo on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001 to 2003.

Ms. Maldonado received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2001, and her A.B., cum laude, from Harvard College in 1997.

Gregory B. Williams: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Delaware

Gregory B. Williams is a partner in the Wilmington, Delaware office of Fox Rothschild LLP. He joined the firm in 1995 as an associate and was elevated to partner in 2003. Mr. Williams has served as a special master in complex civil cases for the District of Delaware since 2020. From 1986 to 1992, Mr. Williams served in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Mr. Williams received his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1995 and both his B.A. and B.S. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 1990.

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