Biden Nominates Norton Recommendation Pan to U.S. District Court for D.C., Norton Congratulates Jackson on Nomination to U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Mar 30, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that President Biden today nominated District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Florence Pan to the U.S. District Court for D.C., as recommended by Norton. Biden today also nominated U.S. District Court for D.C. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Norton recommended Judge Jackson to President Obama for the U.S. District Court for D.C. Pan is being nominated for the vacancy that will be created when Judge Jackson is confirmed by the Senate for the D.C. Circuit. Pan is Asian American and Jackson is African American.

In 2016, Obama nominated Pan for the U.S. District Court for D.C., as recommended by Norton. Pan was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote. However, the Republican-led Senate stopped confirming Obama-nominated judges, and Pan’s nomination expired.

“Judge Florence Pan has the professional experience and academic credentials to be an outstanding federal district court judge,” Norton said. “At this time in history, when Asian Americans are literally being attacked, she is a particularly important nominee. I also take great pride in seeing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom I recommended to President Obama for the U.S. District Court for D.C., elevated to the D.C. Circuit, which many consider to be the second highest court in the land.”

Biden, like President Clinton and Obama, has granted Norton senatorial courtesy for judges on the U.S. District Court for D.C., the U.S. Attorney for D.C., the U.S. Marshal for the D.C. Superior Court, and the U.S. Marshal for the U.S. District Court for D.C.

Since 2009, Pan has been an Associate Judge on the D.C. Superior Court, where she has served in the Civil Division, Criminal Division and Family Court. Previously, Pan worked for 10 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. She served eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, working in both the federal and local trial courts and in the Appellate Division. She served two years as the Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division.

Pan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, with two undergraduate degrees, including from the Wharton School, and from Stanford Law School, with distinction, where she was an Associate Editor of the Stanford Law Review and student body president. She clerked for Judge Michael Mukasey of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge Ralph Winter, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Since 2012, Pan has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Last week, Norton recommended Jia Cobb to Biden for the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for D.C. that will be created when Judge Emmet Sullivan takes senior status on April 3.

Federal law does not require judges on the U.S. District Court for D.C. to live in D.C., even though federal judges in virtually every other jurisdiction are required to live in the jurisdiction in which they serve. However, Norton requires every candidate she recommends pursuant to senatorial courtesy to commit to live in D.C. during their tenure. Pan, who is a D.C. resident, has committed to live in D.C. during her tenure. Norton has a bill that would require judges on the U.S. District Court for D.C. to live in D.C.

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