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Biden nominee Holly Thomas confirmed as 9th Circuit federal judge

Biden nominee Holly Thomas confirmed she is the federal judge of the 9th Circuit, making her the second black woman to sit on the bench after Republicans questioned her trans rights record

  • Holly Thomas was confirmed Thursday as a judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by a 48-40 vote in the Senate.
  • Thomas’ ascent to the bench marks only second time a black woman has served on San Francisco’s 9th Circuit
  • During her October hearings, Republicans attacked her previous civil rights work
  • sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, called Thomas an “activist advocate” during her October hearings



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Holly Thomas was confirmed Thursday as a judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by a 48-40 vote in the Senate.

Thomas’ ascent to the bench marks only the second time a black woman has served on San Francisco’s 9th Circuit.

Thomas is currently a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court. She was an assistant attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Thomas also served as special counsel to the New York Attorney General and as a deputy director at the California Housing and Employment Agency.

During her October hearings, Republicans attacked her past civil rights work, particularly defending transgender people.

“I haven’t been an advocate for three years. I’ve been a judge,” Thomas told US Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, who called the Biden candidate an “activist advocate.”

Holly Thomas was confirmed Thursday as a judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by a 48-40 vote in the Senate.

Holly Thomas was confirmed Thursday as a judge on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by a 48-40 vote in the Senate.

1642719274 29 Biden nominee Holly Thomas confirmed as 9th Circuit federal judge

1642719274 29 Biden nominee Holly Thomas confirmed as 9th Circuit federal judge

sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, called Holly Thomas an “activist advocate” during her October hearings

Cruz replied, “Three years isn’t very long.”

Senate Judiciary Democrats announced Thomas’ long career in law and how the federal judiciary would benefit from her professional experiences.

“For too long, corporate lawyers and former prosecutors have been overrepresented in the federal bench,” said Democratic Senator Alex Padilla of California. ‘But we also need the knowledge of lawyers who have followed other paths.’

Republicans asked many questions about Thomas’s advocacy for transgender rights.

She was a lead New York state attorney on an amicus brief filed in 2016 in North Carolina federal court challenging a state law that allegedly banned transgender people from using a restroom based on their gender identity.

“I understand well, now being a judge, the difference between being a lawyer, pleading for your clients, and being a dutiful judge, taking an oath – one that I take very seriously to apply the law to the facts and the record.” and to look at each case individually,’ said Thomas.

Her nomination was 11-11 on party lines in the Senate Judiciary Committee vote, but since Democrats have the majority, that was enough to send her nomination to the full Senate.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain applauded the party line vote.

“More history made: With today’s confirmation of Holly Thomas to the Court of Appeals, @POTUS has now appointed more appellate judges for its first year in office than any other president,” Klain tweeted on Thursday.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain cheered for the party line vote in a tweet on Thursday

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain cheered for the party line vote in a tweet on Thursday

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain cheered for the party line vote in a tweet on Thursday

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