Senate confirms voting rights advocate to 2nd Circuit federal appellate court

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Myrna Perez
Myrna Perez AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

The Senate voted 48-43 on Monday to confirm Myrna Perez, a voting rights advocate, to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Perez is the first Latina judge on the New York-based 2nd Circuit since Justice Sonia Sotomayor was elevated to the Supreme Court in 2009. She is also President Biden's 13th judge confirmed to the federal appellate bench.

Perez was director of the voting rights and election program at New York University law school's Brennan Center for Justice. Republicans had opposed her confirmation because of her opposition to GOP voting restrictions, and none voted to confirm her. "In his 53 judicial nominations, Biden has prioritized increasing the personal and professional diversity of the judges on the federal bench," Reuters reports. Last month, Biden nominated Dale Ho, head of the American Civil Liberties Union's voting rights project, for a federal judgeship.

The Senate confirmed a second Biden nominee to the 2nd Circuit appellate court, former public defender Eunice Lee, in August, and a third nominee, Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson, advanced out of the Judiciary Committee last week. Two judges on the 2nd Circuit, Jose Cabranes and Rosemary Pooler, recently announced plans to take senior status, meaning Biden will likely get to pick five of the appellate court's 13 active judges. Six were appointed by Republicans.

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