Candidates for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia were among a group of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted to recommend on Feb. 2.
South Carolina Circuit Court Judge DeAndrea Gist Benjamin, whom Biden nominated to the 4th Circuit in August, was advanced on a 12-8 vote.
Benjamin has been a judge on South Carolina’s Fifth Judicial Circuit since 2011, according to the White House.
She previously was a municipal judge from 2004 to 2011 and was a partner at the Gist Law Firm, where she practiced from 2001 to 2011 following a stint as an assistant attorney general in the South Carolina AG’s Office.
A 1997 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Benjamin was a law clerk for Judge L. Casey Manning on South Carolina’s Fifth Judicial Circuit from 1997 to 1998.
The committee advanced Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker’s nomination, put forward by Biden in July, to the Eastern District of Virginia on a 14-6 vote.
If confirmed, Walker would become the first openly LGBTQ Article III judge to serve in Virginia.
Walker joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2015. Previously, he was an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.
From 2011 to 2012, Walker clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson, whose decision to take senior status created the vacancy on the Eastern District court. Walker earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2011.
As assistant U.S. attorney, Walker cofounded an office-wide committee on race, policing and prosecution. He is a member of the Old Dominion Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Department of Justice Association of Black Attorneys.