President Joe Biden has formally nominated Julie Rikelman, a prominent abortion rights lawyer, to serve as a judge in the Massachusetts-based 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rikelman previously represented the Mississippi-based Jackson Women's Health Organization in the landmark Dobbs case, for which the Supreme Court used as a springboard to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24 (by a 5-4 decision).
And prior to the Biden nomination, Rikelman worked as the senior director of U.S. litigation for the Center for Reproductive Rights — an abortion rights organization that has ties to several active lawsuits challenging state abortion bans — and with NBCUniversal, serving as vice president of litigation.
The Rikelman nomination was one of President Biden's nine judicial nominees from Friday, including two appellate court choices.
Biden also tapped Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Maria Araujo Kahn to the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, a trigger law was set off in Mississippi, which bans abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Rikelman's nomination comes a few weeks after the office of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, released an email suggesting that President Biden had planned to nominate an anti-abortion judge (Chad Meredith) to a federal court vacancy in Kentucky — shortly before Roe v. Wade got upended.
The date of the White House email was June 23 — the day before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe and ruled on Dobbs (6-3 decision).
However, after the Supreme Court's landmark decisions on June 24, fueling national outrage from pro-abortion advocates and progressive Democrats, Meredith's nomination was never announced.
According to Yahoo! News, Republicans are likely to oppose the Rikelman nomination in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
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