Biden Makes First Two Picks for Md. District Court Judgeships

    President Biden on Tuesday nominated two lower court judges to fill vacancies on the U.S. District Court for Maryland — his first judicial nominees for the state since taking office two months ago.

    In all, Biden announced 11 judicial nominees for federal courts, including U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah L. Boardman and U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Lydia K. Griggsby to the U.S. District Court for Maryland. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Griggsby would be the first woman of color to serve as a judge in the District Court for Maryland.

    Three federal judges in Maryland — Richard D. Bennett, Catherine C. Blake and Ellen L. Hollander — recently signaled their intention to take senior status on the bench, creating three vacancies on the District Court.

    Boardman has been a federal magistrate since 2019 and from 2008 to 2019, worked at the federal public defender’s office for the District of Maryland, including four years as the first assistant federal public defender. From 2001 to 2008, Boardman worked as an associate at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) in Washington, D.C. She began her career as a law clerk for Judge James C. Cacheris of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2000 to 2001.

    Boardman, who was born and raised in Maryland, received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2000After graduating with her B.A., summa cum laude from Villanova University in 1996, Boardman was a Fulbright Scholar in Amman, Jordan.

    Griggsby has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims since 2014. Prior to her appointment, she was chief counsel for privacy and information policy and privacy counsel for U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), from 2005 to 2014. Before that, she was a counsel on the Senate Select Committee on Ethics from 2004 to 2005.

    Griggsby served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, practicing in the Civil Division, for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia from 1998 to 2004. She was also a trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1995 to 1998. Griggsby, who grew up in Baltimore and lives in Silver Spring, began her legal career as an associate with DLA Piper in Baltimore from 1993 to 1995.

    She received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1993 and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up all 11 of Biden’s nominees.

    “This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession,” Biden said in a statement. “Each is deeply qualified and prepared to deliver justice faithfully under our Constitution and impartially to the American people — and together they represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.