Senate confirms Geraghty to be federal judge in Atlanta

Sarah Elisabeth Geraghty, a nominee for U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing on Dec. 1, 2021. (YouTube)

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Sarah Elisabeth Geraghty, a nominee for U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, speaks at a Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing on Dec. 1, 2021. (YouTube)

The U.S. District Court in Atlanta will soon have its full complement of judges thanks to Thursday’s confirmation of civil rights attorney Sarah Geraghty.

Geraghty, approved by the U.S. Senate with a 52-48 vote, becomes the second nominee of President Joe Biden to join the 11-member court. Federal defender Victoria Calvert was also approved by the Senate on March 22, with a 50-46 vote.

Geraghty has been a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta since 2003. She litigated cases challenging unfair bail policies, private probation practices, open records law violations and inhumane prison and jail conditions.

In 2017, Emory University School of Law gave Geraghty the Unsung Devotion to Those Most in Need Award. In 2020, she was named “Attorney of the Year” by the Daily Report, an Atlanta legal publication, and given the “Legal Legend” award by the American Constitutional Society.

All 50 Democrats voted in favor of Geraghty and were joined by GOP senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine.

Both of Georgia’s Democratic senators praised the bipartisan vote.

“I am confident Ms. Geraghty will apply the law impartially with integrity,” said Sen. Jon Ossoff.

Sen. Raphael Warnock said of Geraghty: “Her qualifications are impeccable and as a career civil rights attorney, Ms. Geraghty’s decades of working to seek justice for the people of Georgia will serve her well in this role.”