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U.S. Magistrate Jude Karen M. Williams. (Photo: New Jersey Bar Association.)

Biden picks Karen Williams for federal judgeship

By David Wildstein, May 12 2021 9:10 am

President Joe Biden has nominated Karen M. Williams to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge in New Jersey.

If confirmed by the Senate, Williams would become the first Black judge to sit in the Camden courthouse.

Williams has served has a U.S. Magistrate Judge since 2009.  Before that, she had run an Atlantic City law firm for 17 years.

Biden has now filled four of the six vacancies on the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, nominating Julien X. Neals, Zahid Quraishi, and Christine O’Hearn. All are awaiting confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Williams was  the pick of U.S. Senator Cory Booker, whose name was sent to the White House in consultant with the state’s senior senator, Bob Menendez

“Judge Williams is an highly qualified jurist who would not only bring fairness and impartiality to the federal bench, but also reflects New Jersey’s rich diversity,” said Booker. “Judge Williams has had a long and distinguished legal career defending the rights of workers and has a deep understanding of the issues facing the people of South Jersey. I look forward to her hearing before the Judiciary Committee and her confirmation by the full Senate.”

Menendez praised Williams’ “unique experience as a human resources professional, trial attorney, and magistrate judge make her eminently qualified.”

“Once again, President Biden has selected a stellar nominee who reflects the values and diversity of New Jersey.  Judge Williams is a thoughtful and intelligent legal mind and, if appointed, would become the first Senate-confirmed African American and person of color to sit in the U.S. District courthouse in Camden, N.J.,” Menendez stated.  “I am confident that she will not only administer equal justice under the law, but serve the people of New Jersey with distinction.”

In private practice, Williams focused on employment law.  She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and Temple University Law School.  She is currently an adjunct professor at Temple University Law School.

This story was updated at 2:16 PM with comment from Booker and Menendez. 

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