Biden appoints three judges to California federal courts

President Biden on Friday announced three more candidates to serve in California’s federal courts, including the first gay judge released, the first Chinese American woman and the second Latina to serve in their respective courts.

If confirmed, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Dainel Calabretta would be the first openly gay judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, according to a White House press release. Calabretta was among eight candidates announced by Biden to sit in federal courts and each must be approved by the US Senate, requiring 51 votes to be confirmed.

Biden also nominated Judge Rita Lin and attorney Araceli Martinez-Olguin for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. If confirmed, Lin will be the second Asian Pacific Islander woman and the first Chinese-American woman to serve in the field. Martinez-Olguin would be the second Latina.

The latest batch of nominees represents the 24th time Biden has nominated people to federal judicial positions, bringing the total of federal nominees to 132.

Calabretta became the first openly gay man appointed to Sacramento County Superior Court in 2019. Previously, Calabretta served as assistant secretary for legal affairs to former Governor Jerry Brown beginning in 2013. He also served as assistant attorney general in California Department of Justice as of 2008. -13.

Calabretta was a partner at Munger Tolles in Los Angeles from 2005 to 2008 and clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens at the United States Supreme Court, according to the White House press release. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 2003.

Lin has served as a San Francisco County Superior Court judge since 2018 and served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California from 2014 to 2018, according to the White House. She was a partner at Morrison and Forester LLP and a legal clerk for Judge Sandra Lynch on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Martinez-Olguin has been an attorney at the National Immigration Law Center since 2018 and previously worked at the Community Legal Services Immigrant Rights Project in East Palo Alto. She has served as an attorney for the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Native and Immigrant Rights Program of Employment Legal Aid.

The Biden White House noted its diverse slate of nominees, saying the choices “ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal backgrounds and professionals”.

Biden also named Julie Rikelman, an abortion rights lawyer who recently represented the Mississippi clinic at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a federal right to abortion. Rikelman was appointed to the US Circuit Court for the First Circuit and serves as director of US litigation for the Center for Reproductive rights. She was previously vice president of litigation at NBC Universal, senior partner at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP, and partner at Feldman & Orlansky.




Los Angeles Times

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