By Betsy Klein and Phil Mattingly, CNN
President Joe Biden on Thursday announced four judicial nominees, including two barrier-breaking nominations of LGBTQ judges, marking his sixth round of judicial nominees since taking office as his administration seeks to maintain a rapid pace of nominations and confirmations.
The new slate includes three nominees to the federal bench and one nominee to the DC Court of Appeals and brings Biden’s total to 35 judicial nominees, with the White House touting “unparalleled speed” on the matter.
The White House noted continued diversity in Biden’s picks, including Justice Beth Robinson of Vermont, who would be the first LGBTQ woman to serve on a federal circuit court if confirmed by the Senate for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
US District Court nominee for the District of Colorado Charlotte Sweeney would be the first LGBTQ federal judge in Colorado if confirmed, plus the first LGBTQ woman to serve as a federal district court judge in any state west of the Mississippi River, per the White House.
Biden also nominated Judge Mary Katherine Dimke for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington State, and Judge John P. Howard III for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Democrats are pressing to quickly fill openings across the federal judiciary with a slim majority in the Senate. Eight of Biden’s judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate so far.
The speed of the effort — and the focus Biden’s team has placed on quickly identifying, naming and sending nominees to Capitol Hill — comes as Democrats both inside and outside of government have placed a new emphasis on the issue in the wake of former President Donald Trump’s sweeping effort to confirm more than 230 federal judges during his time in office, something Trump touted frequently on the campaign trail in 2020.
Trump’s success marked a cornerstone achievement for then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and elevated the issue among Democrats, who saw the balance of courts from the Supreme Court down reshaped before Trump’s 2020 election defeat. But unlike Trump, Biden has yet to nominate anyone to the Supreme Court.
The administration has also pulled from a diversity of legal experience, with an emphasis on nominating more ex-public defenders, civil rights attorneys and labor lawyers to the nation’s top legal positions.
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CNN’s Tierney Sneed and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.