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In the weeks after Joe Biden was named the winner of the presidential election, his incoming White House counsel Dana Remus sent a message to Democratic senators: Send us your picks for judges soon, and make them diverse.

The letter, sent in late December before it was known that Democrats would take the Senate and have control over nominations, told the liberal senators that the Biden White House was “particularly focused” on nominating people who are underrepresented on the federal courts, including civil rights attorneys, public defenders and legal aid lawyers.

That directive materialized, at least in part, in Biden’s first slate of judicial nominees announced in late March. While that list included a couple Big Law partners and others with experience working at corporate law firms, it also featured four former public defenders and a range of racial diversity, including a pick to be the first Muslim American judge.

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Jacqueline Thomsen

Jacqueline Thomsen, based in Washington, is a reporter covering D.C. federal courts and the legal side of politics. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jacq_thomsen.

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