Biden nominates Indo-Caribbean American Sparkle L. Sooknanan, for the U.S. District Court for D.C.

Sparkle Leah Sooknanan @

President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Sparkle L. Sooknanan for the U.S. District Court of D.C. Feb. 21, 2024, among a slate of candidates for judgeships.

Sooknanan has been the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division since 2023.

She previously served as a Deputy Associate Attorney General in the Department of Justice from 2021 to 2023. She first worked in the Department early in her career as an appellate attorney in the Civil Division from to 2012 to 2013.

From 2014 to 2021, Sooknanan worked in private practice at the law firm of Jones Day, becoming a partner at the firm in 2020.

Prior to that, she served as a law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2013 to 2014, for Judge Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 2011 to 2012, and for Judge Eric N. Vitaliano on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 2010 to 2011.

She received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School in 2010, her M.B.A. with distinction from Hofstra University in 2003, and her B.S., summa cum laude, from St. Francis College in 2002.

She was recommended to Biden by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC.

In a press release following the Biden nomination, Norton said, “As is evident from her extensive and impressive accomplishments, Sparkle Sooknanan has the principles, acumen and experience to serve as an exemplary federal judge.”

According to Norton, “She (Sooknanan) will bring much-needed diversity to the federal bench. I look forward to her Senate confirmation and service, and thank President Biden for granting me senatorial courtesy to recommend judges for the U.S. District Court for D.C.”

Because D.C. lacks senators to recommend candidates for some positions, Presidents Clinton, Obama, and Biden granted Norton senatorial courtesy to recommend judges for the U.S. District Court for D.C., the U.S. Attorney for D.C., the U.S. Marshal for the D.C. Superior Court, and the U.S. Marshal for the U.S. District Court for D.C. Norton has established a nominating commission, comprised of lawyers and non-lawyers from all eight wards in D.C., to screen applicants and to make recommendations to her for the senatorial courtesy positions.



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