Biden picks Suffolk DA Rollins as next US Attorney

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – President Joe Biden on Monday announced Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins as his nominee to be the next top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts, a historic move that could kick off a flurry of activity to succeed her.

Rollins, who will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, would become only the second woman to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts following Carmen Ortiz and the first Black woman. A Democrat who has thrilled progressives with her approach to criminal justice reform, Rollins won a five-person DA primary in 2018 with 39 percent of the vote, then took 80 percent of the vote in the general. Her four-year term runs through 2022, and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker would be responsible for selecting an interim replacement ahead of the 2022 elections.

In 1992, Suffolk County District Attorney Newman Flanagan departed to lead a national association of district attorneys. Republican Gov. William Weld named former federal prosecutor Ralph Martin as acting Suffolk DA, and Martin, a Republican, went on to win four-year terms in 1994 and 1998.

Biden announced Rollins, whose selection was not a surprise, as one of eight nominees to serve as U.S. attorneys. “These individuals — many of whom are historic firsts — were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said. 

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