President Biden has nominated two to be judges in the Northern District of Illinois, based in Chicago.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated two judges serving in Chicago-based federal courtrooms to be elevated to fill district court vacancies in the Northern District of Illinois.
Biden picked Judge Jeffrey Cummings, who has been a U.S. magistrate judge for the Northern District since 2019, and Judge LaShonda Hunt, a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the district since 2017.
Both judges, who are Black, will further the goal of Biden and Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to diversify the federal bench. Last year, attorney Nancy Maldonado became the first Hispanic woman to sit on the Northern District of Illinois. Since the Northern District was created some 200 years ago, it has been dominated by white male judges.
In announcing Biden’s latest round of judicial nominees, the White House said in a statement that they all “are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution. 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.”
Cummings was a co-managing partner at Miner, Barnhill & Galland P.C., where he worked from 1989 to 2019. He served as a law clerk for Judge Ann Claire Williams on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1987 to 1989.
He received his law degree from Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law in 1987 and his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1984.
Hunt’s previous positions include serving as general counsel for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services and as chief legal counsel for the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Before that, she was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois from 2003-05 and then again from 2010-15.
She also was assistant general counsel at Exelon Co. from 2007-09 and regulatory outreach manager at ComEd, a subsidiary of Exelon, from 2009-10.
Hunt served as a law clerk for Judge William Hibbler on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001-03. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan in 1995, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992.