Norton Recommends Jia Cobb for U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Mar 25, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today said that she has recommended Jia Cobb to President Biden for the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that will be created when Judge Emmet Sullivan takes senior status on April 3. Biden, like Presidents 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.

“Jia Cobb possesses all the necessary qualities to be an exceptional federal judge,” Norton said. “She has the intelligence, temperament, and integrity for this position. She also brings much-needed racial and professional diversity to the federal bench.”

Cobb, who is African American, is a partner at Relman Colfax PLLC, a plaintiff-side civil rights law firm, where she has practiced for 11 years. She litigates civil rights cases in federal courts across the country, including in D.C. Her practice focuses on housing discrimination and criminal justice misconduct, but she litigates other types of civil rights cases as well.

Prior to practicing at Relman Colfax, Cobb practiced at the D.C. Public Defender Service for six years, where she represented indigent criminal defendants at all stages of litigation and tried dozens of cases to verdict as lead or sole attorney.

Cobb is a graduate of Northwestern University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and of Harvard Law School, cum laude, where she was a Coordinating Editor of the Harvard Law Review. She clerked for Judge Diane Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

As she did under Clinton and Obama, Norton has established a nominating commission, comprised of lawyers and non-lawyers from all eight wards in D.C., to screen applicants and to make recommendations to her for the senatorial courtesy positions under Biden.

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. Cobb 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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