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Senate confirms Boardman, Griggsby to U.S. District Court for Maryland

The U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah L. Boardman and U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Lydia K. Griggsby to the U.S. District Court for Maryland.

The two Biden appointees will serve in the federal courthouse in Baltimore.

Following the Senate’s largely party line 52-48 vote last Wednesday, Boardman will succeed retiring U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were the only Republicans who voted for confirmation, along with all Senate Democrats and Independents.

“Judge Deborah Boardman is an incredibly qualified and experienced jurist and we look forward to her years of service as a U.S. district judge,” Maryland’s two Democratic U.S. senators – Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen – said in a joint statement after the vote. “As a sitting magistrate judge and former public defender in Maryland, we know that Judge Boardman will deliver equal justice for all. We are confident that she will bring to the courtroom fairness and respect to Marylanders seeking justice.”

Griggsby, confirmed by a 59-39 vote on June 16, will succeed retiring U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Bell. Eleven Republicans voted for confirmation while two Democrats, Corey Booker of New Jersey and Gary Peters of Michigan, did not vote.

“The Senate’s confirmation of Judge Lydia Griggsby to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Maryland will help deliver fair, just, and equal treatment under law to Marylanders,” Cardin and Van Hollen said in a joint statement.

“We are confident that she will faithfully following the law and serve Marylanders with excellence,” they added. “We are also proud that Judge Griggsby – a lifelong Marylander – will make history when she becomes the first Black woman and first woman of color to serve on our federal court as a U.S. District Judge for Maryland. We look forward to her continued service to those seeking justice for many years to come.”

Boardman, a native Marylander, had been as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court in Maryland since 2019 after serving 11 years in the federal public defender’s office for Maryland, according to a biography provided by the White House.

The 2000 University of Virginia School of Law graduate began her career as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris in eastern Virginia before moving to private practice at Hogan & Hartson, now known as Hogan Lovells.

Baltimore-born Griggsby has served on the federal claims court since 2014 after spending 10 years as an attorney in the U.S. Senate, primarily as chief counsel for privacy and information policy and privacy counsel for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, according to a White House biography.

Griggsby, a 1993 Georgetown University Law Center graduate, began her legal career with a two-year stint at DLA Piper in Baltimore before becoming a trial attorney in the commercial litigation branch of the U.S. Justice Department’s civil division in 1995.

Griggsby was an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia handling civil litigation from 1998 until she moved to the Senate in 2004, where she served a year as counsel for the Select Committee on Ethics before moving to Leahy’s office.

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