Biden Puts Another Former Public Defender Onto A U.S. Appeals Court

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Veronica Rossman is now one of only eight US Court of Appeals judges with experience representing people who cannot afford an attorney.

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The Senate voted Monday night to confirm Veronica Rossman for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit — making her the only former public defender on that court and just a handful within the entire U.S. appeals court system. became one of

Rossman, who is currently senior counsel in the federal public defender’s office for the districts of Colorado and Wyoming, was confirmed 50-42. Every Democrat present voted for him with two Republican, censors Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine). see full match here.


Rossmann confirms presidential victory Joe Biden on two fronts. She adds to her current record More judges confirmed In his terms at this point more than any president in the last 50 years. And he’s the latest example of Biden after promising to bring badly needed diversity to the nation’s courts – both in terms of demographics like race and gender, but also in terms of professional background.

Rossman, 49, has spent much of his career as a public defender, representing people in court who can’t afford a lawyer. Public defenders are rarely represented in the country’s courts; The vast majority of federal judges are former prosecutors and corporate lawyers. Rossman brings a very different approach to the bench, which has defended more than 250 impoverished clients in more than 10 years in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the districts of Colorado and Wyoming.

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“His work on behalf of tribals, protecting the Constitution and the rights of those accused of crimes, will strike a much-needed balance in a bench overwhelmed by former prosecutors and corporate lawyers,” said Chris Kang of Demand Justice, a progressive judicial advocacy group.

The expansion of professional diversity in federal courts can also affect case outcomes and the development of legal precedent. Judges with backgrounds as prosecutors or corporate attorneys are significantly more likely to rule in favor of employers in workplace disputes, According to a February study Moderated by Emory University law professor Joanna Shepherd. (Demand Justice provided some financial support for this study.)

Rossman is now one of only eight active judges with experience as a public defender in the entire US appeals court system. This is out of a total of 174 judges currently active in the US appeals courts.

Put another way: Of all active US Court of Appeals judges, only 4.6% have experience as a public defender.

Biden is responsible for nominating four of those eight US Court of Appeals judges, just eight months into his presidency. The other four were nominated by President Barack Obama during his eight years in the White House.

Rakim Brooks, president of the judicial advocacy group Alliance for Justice, said: “As former public defenders, civil rights attorneys, labor organizers and more, Biden’s judicial nominees bring a wealth of professional and lived experience that is invaluable to the federal judiciary. Will happen.” “Our democracy works best when the people have faith and trust in our courts, so it is essential that our courts fully represent the diversity of our country – not just the rich and powerful.”


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