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Biden Nominee Could Be First Lesbian & Hispanic Judge on DC Fed Court

President Joe Biden
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Ana Reyes, who immigrated from Uruguay and grew up in Kentucky, has worked on asylum and refugee pro bono cases.


President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday another round of nominations for federal judicial judges. Among them was Ana Reyes who, if confirmed, would be the first out lesbian and first Hispanic judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Reyes is one of five new nominations. This is Biden's 17th round of nominees for federal judge appointments, according to a White House news release. Altogether, he has announced 95 federal judicial nominees since becoming president.

The nominee immigrated from Uruguay and grew up in Louisville, Ky., according to The Hill. The outlet notes that Reyes concentrates on cross-border litigation and international arbitration. She's also taken up pro bono cases, representing asylum seekers as well as refugee groups.

Reyes is currently a partner at Williams and Connolly law offices in D.C. She's worked at the law firm since 2001. Before joining Williams and Connolly, she served as a law clerk for Judge Amalya Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 2000 to 2001.

She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, in 2000 and a master's degree in international public policy from the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, with honors, in 2014. Reyes received her BS from Transylvania University in 1996.

Other nominees include Elizabeth Hanes for the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Lara Montecalvo for the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Anne Nardacci for the District Court for the Northern District of New York, and Sarah Merriam for the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Biden has sought to speed up the process of confirming his court appointments, but GOP lawmakers have consistently slowed it down. The Hill reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee has experienced a slowdown as well due to the confirmation hearings on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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