People For the American Way

People For Celebrates the Advancement of 12 Outstanding Judicial Nominees


Contact: Press Department at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 2024674999

WASHINGTON, DC — Following today’s Senate Judiciary Committee mark-up advancing 12 of President Joe Biden’s circuit and district court nominees to the federal bench, People For the American Way President Ben Jealous released the following statement:

“We are very pleased to see today’s action advancing President Biden’s outstanding judicial nominees, which is critical to safeguarding our democracy against stacked courts and extreme agendas. For decades, we have seen the courts blatantly misused to maintain racist agendas, restrict the freedom of choice, and serve the wealthy, the powerful and the corrupt. The nominees advancing today include two exceptional nominees to the Ninth Circuit, Holly Thomas and Gabriel Sanchez, whose records show a deep commitment to civil rights. The list overall includes four women of color (two Black women, one Latina, and one AAPI woman), three Latino men, and a woman who will be the first openly LGBTQ+ woman on a federal district court west of the Mississippi.

“These nominees are brilliant and qualified women and people of color who will bring sorely lacking perspectives to the courts and protect and enforce equality and justice for all people. We are pleased to see Biden stick to his commitment to building a diverse bench of qualified, fair-minded judges.”

Biden’s current 28 lower court confirmations is the most at this point in a presidential term since Ronald Reagan. Below is the full list of nominees advanced at the mark-up:

  1. Holly Thomas (9th Cir., read People For’s letter of support here).
  2. Gabriel Sanchez (9th Cir., read People For’s letter of support here).
  3. Mary Katherine Dimke (WA, Eastern District; will be second woman ever to serve as a federal judge in the Eastern District)
  4. Charlotte Sweeney (District of CO; would be the first openly LGBTQ+ federal judge in Colorado and the first openly LGBTQ+ woman to serve as a federal district court judge in any state west of the Mississippi).
  5. Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong (CA, Central District; will be the only active federal district judge anywhere in California who is a Black woman)
  6. Hernán D. Vera (CA, Central District)
  7. Jennifer Thurston (CA, Eastern District)
  8. Linda Lopez (CA, Southern District)
  9. Jinsook Ohta (CA, Southern District; will be the district’s first AAPI woman federal judge)
  10. Kate Menendez (District of MN)
  11. David Urias (District of NM)
  12. Samantha D. Elliott (District of NH)

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: