People For the American Way

This Women’s History Month Reminds Us: We Need More Great Women on the Federal Bench

News and Analysis
This Women’s History Month Reminds Us: We Need  More Great Women on the Federal Bench

This Women’s History Month reminds us that we can help more women make history – and protect our rights at the same time.

In the last year, we’ve hit some historic highs – like confirming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And we’ve also been dealt some major blows to our rights, like the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that gutted access to reproductive health care for so many of us. 

The fight for women’s rights is an ongoing battle – and a lot of that battle continues to be waged in the courts. It’s never been more clear that who sits on the federal bench has a major impact on the rights and lives of women across the country. 

And that’s where we all come in. 

There are amazing women waiting to make history – and ready to work for justice for all.

The Biden administration and Senate Democrats have confirmed dozens of glass-ceiling-shattering women to the federal bench, bringing much-needed representation to courts that have never had it. But there are more immensely qualified, talented women with track records of working for justice for all waiting to be confirmed to the federal bench. 

Our senators need to hear from us now. Every senator gets a vote on every judicial nominee – which means you have the chance to make your voice heard in support of these amazing women. Learn about the nominees below, and tell your senators: confirm these judges to the federal bench. 

Here are the nominees you need to know

Nancy Abudu – Eleventh Circuit 

Nancy Abudu has dedicated her entire career to ensuring that no one is deprived of the protections guaranteed to us by the law – and, if confirmed,will be the first Black woman on the Eleventh Circuit. 

Our right to vote is at the core of our democracy — and protecting it has been at the center of Nancy Abudu’s work. And protecting that right is ingrained in her history — her father, who immigrated to the U.S. from Ghana, advocated for the release from prison of people whose only “crime” was demanding the right to vote and having a say in their own lives and in the life of their nation. 

Abudu has dedicated her career and her formidable legal skills to helping those without wealth and power access the courts to protect their constitutional and legal rights. She has worked to protect our right to vote, immigrants’ rights, children’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion, and so much more. She has a deep understanding of how the law impacts our lives and an unshakable commitment to recognizing the rights of all people, regardless of their politics or background.

Rachel Bloomekatz – Sixth Circuit 

Rachel Bloomekatz is a public interest lawyer who has devoted her time to serving the people who need help the most. She has represented young people trying to vote for the first time, people who got cancer from a chemical company’s  negligence, and workers who were fired and called thieves by their employers. 

She’s literally an award-winning litigator. She’s held several prestigious clerkships, including working for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. In 2022 alone, the International Municipal Lawyers Association gave her an Amicus Service Award, Columbus CEO Magazine featured her as one of the “Future 50,” and Ohio Super Lawyers recognized her as a “Rising Star.”

Rachel Bloomekatz is an inspired choice to serve on the Sixth Circuit. 

Julie Rikelman – First Circuit 

Julie Rikelman has an awe-inspiring story on top of her impressive experience and credentials. Born in Kiev in the former Soviet Union, she spent her childhood in one of history’s worst totalitarian dictatorships. Growing up in a Jewish family, she experienced severe religious persecution. She said she “grew up thinking about how important it was for people to be able to make personal decisions about their lives for themselves and not have the government make those decisions for them.”

Throughout her career, she’s demonstrated a tireless commitment to safeguarding the constitutional rights of all people. She clerked for the first woman to serve on the Alaska Supreme Court and handled cases ranging from medical malpractice to employment discrimination. And less than a year ago, she argued in favor of protecting reproductive rights in the Dobbs case. 

Julie Rikelman has demonstrated a tireless commitment to safeguarding the Constitutional rights of all people and is exactly the kind of judge we need on the First Circuit. 

In honor of Women’s History Month, take action now: Tell your senators to confirm these women! 

Nancy Abudu, Rachel Bloomekatz, and Julie Rikelman are three stellar examples of the kind of women we need on the federal bench. They understand how the law impacts real people, and we know they’ll be judges committed to the promise of justice for all.

Tell your senators: Confirm Abudu, Bloomekatz, and Rikelman! Add your name here.


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