Joe Biden nominates Indian-American Rupa Ranga Puttagunta as judge of DC District Court

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US President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his intent to nominate Indian-American Rupa Ranga Puttagunta as a federal judge. Indian-American Rupa Ranga Puttagunta featured in a list among 10 other diverse picks for top judicial positions.

Among the nominations, 10 are for Federal Circuit and District Court judge posts, and one is for Superior Court Judge for the District of Columbia.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta will become the first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) woman to serve on the US District Court for the District of DC, the White House said in a statement.

“These highly-qualified candidates reflect the president's deeply-held conviction that the federal bench should reflect the full diversity of the American people - both in background and in professional experience,” the White House said.

Also See: Indian-American physician Vivek Murthy confirmed by Senate as Joe Biden's surgeon general

Who is Rupa Ranga Puttagunta?

Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta currently serves as an Administrative Judge for the DC Rental Housing Commission. Before this, she was a solo practitioner from 2013 to 2019, representing indigent criminal defendants in trial and on appeal, PTI reported.

Rupa Ranga Puttagunta earlier practised family and appellate law at Delaney McKinney, LLP from 2012 to 2013.

Rupa Ranga Puttagunta’s legal career

Judge Puttagunta also provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services by volunteering at DC Superior Court’s Family Court Self-Help Center and Attorney Negotiator Program and representing victims of domestic violence in DC Superior Court while working on domestic relations matters in private practice.

Judge Puttagunta began her legal career as a law clerk for Judge William M Jackson of the DC Superior Court from 2008 to 2010, as well as the Senior Judges of the DC Court of Appeals from 2010 to 2011.

She received her Juris Doctor degree from Ohio State Moritz College of Law in 2007.

Also See: Biden appoints two more Indian-Americans to key administration position

Who are others on the list?

The nominations announced by Joe Biden on Tuesday also included three African American women and a Muslim American.

If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Zahid N Quraishi would be the first Muslim American federal judge in US history.

Of Pakistani descent, Judge Quraishi is a United States Magistrate Judge for the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, a position he was appointed to in 2019.