Biden Picks Angel Kelley For Federal Court Opening In Massachusetts

President Biden is reaching into the Massachusetts Superior Court to fill a U.S. District Court judgeship in the Bay State, selecting Judge Angel Kelley to fill an open slot on the federal bench.

If confirmed, Kelley would 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 said.

Judge Angel Kelley. (Boston University)
Judge Angel Kelley. (Boston University)

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 has twice appeared before the Governor's Council for hearings, where councilors confirmed her despite some concerns that she arrived on the bench with too little legal experience in Massachusetts.

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.

"I knew a great number of the police officers that were lost. I went to a great deal of funerals after 9/11," she said at her 2009 confirmation hearing. "I wondered, 'When are they going to stop?'"

Brown 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. She also worked on a task force targeting child prostitution.


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