Kelley confirmed for federal judgeship


FILE – This June 8, 2021 file photo shows the Supreme Court building in Washington. A Thursday, June 17, 2021 Supreme Court ruling that favored Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia was far from the constitutional gale wind that would have reshaped how courts interpret religious liberty under the First Amendment. Governmental entities are now on notice that if they want to ban discrimination against LGBTQ persons or anyone else, they had better not allow for any exceptions – or else religious groups will have the right to ask for them, and they’ll have a strong case for getting them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Following her nomination by President Biden in May, the U.S. Senate voted 52-44 late Tuesday to confirm Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Angel Kelley to fill an open slot on the federal bench in Massachusetts.

Kelley will become the second African American woman judge and the second Asian American judge to serve on the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, the White House has said. A 2009 nominee of former Gov. Deval Patrick, Kelley initially served on the Brockton District Court and was elevated in 2013 to the Superior Court, where she has served as the regional administrative judge.

Kelley served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts from 2007 to 2009. She was a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School from 2005 to 2007. At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she was an attorney for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where she worked from 1997 to 2005. Kelley began her legal career as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society in the Juvenile Rights Division in Brooklyn, New York from 1993 to 1997. During her career, Kelley has worked as a legal aid public defender in child protective cases, prosecuted criminal offenses in federal court with the U.S. Attorney’s office, and handled everything from auto accidents to class action gender discrimination lawsuits.

Four senators did not vote on Kelley’s nomination, which prevailed with support from Senate Democrats and confirmation votes from three Republicans: Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, and Chuck Grassley of Iowa. “Judge Kelley has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing equal justice under law and has been a leader in educating her colleagues on how they can bring about a more equitable legal system,” Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren said in a joint statement. “We are proud to have recommended her nomination to President Biden, and are very pleased the Senate has voted to confirm her. We have no doubt that she will have a long and distinguished career on the federal bench.” 

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