Biden nominates three judges to federal courts in California

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

If confirmed, Sacramento Superior Court Justice Dainel Calabretta would become 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 for federal court service, and each must be approved by the US Senate, with 51 votes required to be confirmed.

Biden also nominated Judge Rita Lin and Attorney Araceli Martinez-Olguin for the US District Court for the Northern District of California. If confirmed, Lin will become the second Asian-American Pacific Islander and first Chinese-American woman to serve on the court. Martinez-Olguin would be the second Latina.

The latest batch of nominees marks the 24th time Biden has nominated individuals for federal court positions, bringing the total number of federal nominees to 132.

Calabretta became the first openly gay man to be appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court in 2019. Calabretta previously served as assistant legal secretary to former Gov. Jerry Brown, beginning in 2013. As of 2008, he also served as Assistant Attorney General in the California Department of Justice -13.

According to the White House press release, Calabretta was an associate at Munger Tolles in Los Angeles from 2005 to 2008, working for US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. 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 judge in the Superior Court of San Francisco County since 2018 and was 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 clerk for Judge Sandra Lynch on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

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

Noting his lineup of different nominees, the Biden White House said the decisions “ensure the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — in terms of both personal and professional backgrounds.” .

Biden also nominated Julie Rikelman, an abortion rights attorney who most recently represented the Mississippi Clinic at the center of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a federal right to abortion. Rikelman was nominated for the US Circuit Court for the First Circuit and serves as US Litigation Director for the Center for Reproductive Rights. Previously, she was vice president of litigation at NBC Universal, senior associate at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP, and associate at Feldman & Orlansky. Biden nominates three judges to federal courts in California

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