HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) – Two new federal judges for Connecticut have been confirmed by the United States Senate, including Prosecutor Sarala Nagala, who will become the first person of South Asian descent to serve on the state’s federal bench.
Nagala, a Connecticut assistant U.S. attorney who has focused on hate crimes, human trafficking and child exploitation, was confirmed on Wednesday by 52-46.
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed that State Judge Omar Williams, a former public defender, would fill another federal judge post, also on a 52-46 vote. And earlier this month Sarah Merriam, a U.S. magistrate and former federal public defender, was confirmed for a third federal judge position in the state on a 54-46 vote.
Nagala, Williams and Merriam succeed federal judges Vanessa Bryant, Alvin Thompson and Janet Hall respectively, who have all assumed senior judge status, a form of semi-retirement with reduced workloads.
President Joe Biden named Nagala, Williams and Merriam, based on recommendations from American senses Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats from Connecticut.
Blumenthal and Murphy said in a statement in June that the three candidates at the time “have a diverse set of experiences – both in life and in the law – but they all share a deep and enduring commitment to ‘just and equal justice’.
Copyright 2021 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.