Bloomberg Law
July 13, 2022, 8:00 PM

Hispanic, LGBTQ Firsts Among Planned Biden District Court Picks

Madison Alder
Madison Alder

President Joe Biden plans six nominations to US district courts, including candidates who would be the first Hispanic and LGBTQ judges on courts in Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia.

The nominations, announced Wednesday, don’t include conservative lawyer Chad Meredith, who the White House told Kentucky Democrats last month was under consideration for a district court judgeship. The possibility of nominating a lawyer who defended abortion restrictions after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade has outraged progressives.

Planned nominees Margaret Guzman, a state court judge, and Jorge Alberto Rodriguez, an assistant attorney general in New York, would be the first Hispanic judges on the US District Courts for the District of Massachusetts and Northern District of New York, respectively.

US attorney Jamar Walker, Biden’s intended pick for the Eastern District of Virginia, would be the first openly LGBTQ judge to have a lifetime federal judicial appointment in Virginia, according to the White House.

The list also included Jamal Whitehead, a Schroeter Goldmark & Bender shareholder, and Kymberly Evanson, a partner at Pacifica Law Group, for the Western District of Washington, and US Magistrate Judge Robert Stewart Ballou for the Western District of Virginia.

The new list comes just one day after Biden announced five nominees to federal judgeships in Pennsylvania, including a nominee for the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Progressives have been pushing the White House and Senate Democrats to speed up on judicial nominees as the midterms threaten the slim Senate majority that aids the confirmation process. They’ve suggested adding additional hearings and increasing the number of nominees considered at each hearing.

Judicial nominations also progressed in the Senate on Wednesday, as the Judiciary Committee held a hearing for two nominees to the Ninth and Seventh Circuits and three for district seats.

Biden currently has 16 circuit nominees and 31 district nominees in the pipeline.

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at; John Crawley at