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Biden to Nominate Three Former Public Defenders to Judiciary

April 27, 2022, 1:41 PM

President Joe Biden’s latest planned judicial picks include two circuit court nominees with experience as public defenders and Boies Schiller Flexner and Williams & Connolly partners selected for district court seats.

Three of the five planned nominees announced Wednesday have worked in public defender offices, job experience common among Biden selections as he seeks to diversify the composition of the federal bench.

Sarah A. L. Merriam, who has served as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, is ticketed for the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She previously served as a U.S. magistrate judge in Connecticut from 2015 to 2021 and as an assistant federal public defender from 2007 to 2015.

Lara E. Montecalvo, the public defender of Rhode Island since 2020, is the intended nominee for the Massachusetts-based First Circuit. She previously served as an assistant public defender from 2004 to 2020.

Elizabeth Hanes, a U.S. magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Virginia, will be nominated for a seat as a district court judge there. She served as an assistant federal public defender from 2009 to 2016 in the district.

Anne Nardacci, a partner at Boies Schiller in Albany, is the pick for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York while Ana Reyes, a Williams & Connolly partner, will be nominated for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Reyes would be the first Hispanic woman and first openly LGBTQ person ever to serve on the D.C. District Court, the White House said in a statement.

—With Madison Alder

To contact the reporter on this story: Seth Stern in Washington at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Crawley at jcrawley@bloomberglaw.com