New U.S. Magistrate Judges Jessica S. Allen, Matthew J. Skahill, André M. Espinosa, Sharon A. King, José R. Almonte, Rukhsanah L. Singh, and Elizabeth A. Pascal were formally sworn in to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey. Credit: Sean Sime.
Seven experienced lawyers of diverse backgrounds were formally sworn in to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey, during a recent special group investiture ceremony. The new U.S. magistrate judges include four women, and appointees with diverse cultural ancestry from Pakistan, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad.
“Our newest magistrate judges echo our tradition of appointing incredibly talented individuals to the bench who also look like and reflect the rich diversity of the communities we serve in this district,” said Chief Judge Freda L. Wolfson, of the District of New Jersey.
A court reflective of the community it serves instills public confidence…
Chief Judge Freda L. Wolfson, District of New Jersey
In an unusual investiture ceremony, all seven new judges were sworn in simultaneously due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed many of the individual ceremonies that the court had planned during the last two years. This is the first time any district court in the Third Circuit has conducted a group investiture ceremony of this scale, Wolfson said.
Magistrate judges play an important role in the judicial process, helping district judges in criminal and civil matters by handling complaints, issuing search warrants, holding preliminary hearings, and much more. Unlike district judges, who are nominated by the President and confirmed to life terms by the Senate, magistrate judges are appointed to eight-year terms by a majority vote of the active district judges of a court.
“The diversity in the selection of the new magistrate judges is a credit to our Merit Selection Panels, composed of lawyers and community members of diverse experiences and backgrounds, who made recommendations to our court, and then ultimately, to our district judges, who made these selections,” Wolfson said. “A court reflective of the community it serves instills public confidence, and the District of New Jersey is walking the walk.”
Related Topics: District Courts, Events and Ceremonies, Judges & Judgeships
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