Federal appeals court to get its first Black judge for Georgia

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

President Joe Biden has made history by selecting the first Black person to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals in a Georgia seat.

While there have been other black judges in other offices for the Eleventh Circuit appellate, which also covers Florida and Alabama, Nancy Gbana Abudu would be the first Black person assigned to hear Georgia cases.

Abudu currently works in the Decatur office of the Southern Poverty Law Center as the organization’s deputy legal director. Prior to that, she was the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

If confirmed by the Senate, Abudu will fill a vacant position on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The open seat was created by the September retirement of Judge Beverly Martin, one of the court’s most liberal judges.

“These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” the White House said in its message announcing Abudu’s appointment.

Abudu was raised in Virginia, received her juris doctorate from Tulane University School of Law and earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University. She served as a staff attorney for the 11th Circuit Court from 2002 to 2004.

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor, said Abudu’s appointment is notable because the 11th Circuit often is asked to resolve high-profile cases.

“She will also bring experiential and ideological diversity to the court and help counter the six extremely conservative judges whom (then-President Donald) Trump confirmed to that court,” he said.