President Biden Appoints Second Woman to Federal / LGBTQ Nation Court of Appeal


President Biden on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, March 18, 2021.Photo: White House

Just weeks after Beth Robinson was confirmed as the country’s first LGBTQ woman as a judge at a federal appeals court seat, President Joe Biden appointed a second woman to also join the same bench.

The White House announced this week that Biden is appointing Alison Nathan, currently a district judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, to a seat on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recommended her, as he did when she was appointed to her current judicial post by President Barack Obama (D) in 2011.

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In addition to currently serving on the District Court, Nathan was previously Special Assistant to President Obama, Associate Legal Counsel to the White House and Special Advisor to the Solicitor General of New York. She served as a Supreme Court clerk and taught at Fordham Law School and NYU Law.

Nathan is currently attracting the attention of the tabloids and legal media as she is the judge assigned to the purchased public prosecutor’s office against Ghislaine Maxwell, a known associate of the late billionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. She is currently overseeing Maxwell’s trial, which she is scheduled to begin on November 24.

This week, she chaired the jury selection, and told the court prior to the appointment that she was continuing her duties for the time being.

“Needless to say, I am very honored,” Nathan said on Wednesday, but she “will continue to do my daily work, which means presiding over this trial until the end and handling the hundreds of other civil and criminal cases in my life. role. “

Nathan is the partner of Meg Satterthwaite, NYU law professor and faculty director, a former United Nations consultant, and they are parents of twins.

The The White House announced his appointment with Andre B. Mathis, whom Biden names for the Sixth Circuit. Mathis would be “the first black man – and the second black – to sit on the Sixth Tennessee Circuit” and the first black judge appointed to the circuit in 24 years.

President Biden considers both to be “extraordinarily skilled, experienced and dedicated to the rule of law and our Constitution.”

Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and other members of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus called on the Senate to consider her appointment “quickly”.

On November 1, Vermont Supreme Court Judge Beth Robinson was also confirmed in the Second Circuit. Biden appointed her to the bench in August and she became the first LGBTQ woman in the country to sit on a federal appeals court.

According to Lambda Legal, Robinson is only the 14th openly gay or lesbian judge currently sitting in a federal court. Nathan is one of those fourteen.

Robinson was an associate judge on the Vermont Supreme Court for the past ten years, where she also made history as the state’s first LGBTQ Supreme Court judge.

She is also known for her role as co-advisor in Baker v. Vermont, the first case in the country grant LGBTQ couples the same legal protections as those granted to heterosexual married couples.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has jurisdiction over appeals from federal court proceedings in Connecticut, New York State and Vermont. If confirmed, Nathan would have the right to be appointed for life on the bench.


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