Biden nominates new judges for 4th, 10th Circuits

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation in Washington, U.S. August 1, 2022. Jim Watson/Pool via REUTERS
  • Biden nominates DeAndrea Benjamin to 4th Circuit and Jabari Wamble to 10th Circuit
  • Both come from states with two Republican senators

(Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated two people of color to serve as federal appellate court judges from Kansas and South Carolina, two states that each have two Republican senators whose approval is no longer required for circuit picks.

The White House said Biden nominated DeAndrea Benjamin, a state court judge in South Carolina, to serve on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and picked federal prosecutor Jabari Wamble for a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

If confirmed by the Senate, Benjamin would be the second woman of color to serve on Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit while Wamble would be the first person of color from Kansas on the Denver-based 10th Circuit.

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The White House said the nominations continue Biden's pledge to "ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country." In total, Biden has announced 134 federal judicial nominees since January 2021.

Both Benjamin and Wamble hail from states with two Republican senators, who historically would have needed to return blue slips, named for the color of the forms, for judicial nominees from their state to be considered by the Senate.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, though, have been following a practice adopted by Republicans during the Trump administration of not requiring them for circuit court nominees.

Republican support could nonetheless ease their progress in the Senate with time ticking before the November midterm elections, when Democrats are at risk of losing their narrow control of the Senate.

Notably, Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas in a statement congratulated Wamble on his nomination after meeting with him to discuss his service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas.

"Mr. Wamble has demonstrated legal skill and interest in justice throughout his professional career," Moran said. "He is a dedicated public servant."

The other three senators from the nominees' home states did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Nate Raymond reports on the federal judiciary and litigation. He can be reached at