The White House on Wednesday announced six judicial nominees, including two for New Jersey, as the president looks ahead to filling vacancies next year with Democrats in control of the Senate.
The nominees for the District of New Jersey are:
- Michael E. Farbiarz: Farbiarz began serving as corporate counsel for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2016. Prior to joining the authority, he was a senior fellow at New York University School of Law and served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York Office for 10 years. He was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell from 2001 to 2004. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1999, he clerked for Judge Jose Cabranes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge Michael B. Mukasey on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
- Robert Kirsch: Robert Kirsch has served as a judge on the New Jersey Superior Court for Union County, in Union County, since 2010 and was an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey for 13 years before joining the bench. He also served as a trial attorney in the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1993 to 1997. A graduate of Fordham University School of Law, Kirsch then clerked for Judge William Zloch on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
The other nominees announced Wednesday are:
- Matthew P. Bookman for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana: Brookman has served as a federal magistrate judge in the Southern District of Indiana since 2016, and before joining the bench was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Indiana.
- Marian Gaston for the Southern District of California: Gaston currently serves as judge on the Superior Court of California in San Diego, a seat she has held since 2015. She has a background in public defense, having served as a deputy public defender in San Diego for nearly a decade. Gaston graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 1996.
- Wesley Hsu for the Central District of California: Hsu has served on the Los Angeles County Superior Court as a judge since 2017, and prior to joining the bench, was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California for 17 years. Hsu was an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1997 to 2000, and served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer of the Central District of California before joining the firm.
- Mónica Ramírez Almadani for the Central District of California: Mónica Ramírez Almadani has been the president and CEO of the pro bono public interest firm Public Counsel since 2021. She previously worked as a visiting assistant clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and as a special counsel at Covington & Burling from 2017 to 2019. Almadani’s background also includes working as a federal prosecutor for six years and serving as a staff attorney and fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union from 2005 to 2009. After graduating from Stanford Law School in 2005, she clerked for Judge Warren J. Ferguson on the Ninth Circuit.
As the Senate Judiciary Committee continues to honor the blue slip process for district court nominees, most of Biden’s lower court appointments thus far have been in states with two Democratic senators. Brookman’s appointment represents a departure from that trend in that Indiana is fully controlled by Republicans.
Since taking office, Biden has announced 150 federal judicial nominees. More than 25 of Biden’s appeals court nominees have been confirmed by the Senate, along with more than 65 district court nominees.