D.C. Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton earlier this month named longtime D.C. LGBTQ rights advocate and Ward 8 community leader Phil Pannell to a commission that will help Norton recommend to President Joe Biden the nomination of federal judges and other federal law enforcement officials in D.C.
Pannell will serve as one of 14 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission that Norton created to help her make recommendations to Biden on who he should nominate as judges for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and for the positions of U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshall for D.C.
“President Biden, like Presidents Clinton and Obama, granted Norton senatorial courtesy to recommend candidates for federal district court judges and other important federal law enforcement officials in the District,” a statement released by Norton’s office says. “The Commission will screen and recommend candidates to Norton, who will make recommendations to Biden,” the statement says.
“The Commission is comprised of lawyers and non-lawyers from across the District,” according to the statement.
U.S. presidents have traditionally turned to the senior U.S. senator from their political party in each state to recommend the names of qualified nominees for federal judgeship and other law enforcement positions in their respective states. Clinton, Obama, and now Biden have extended that courtesy to Norton.
In a Dec. 22 letter to Democratic senators and to Norton, Biden’s designee to become White House Counsel, Dana Remus, said Biden was eager to nominate individuals who reflect the best of America and who “look like” America.
“We therefore ask that you propose talented individuals who would bring to these critically important roles a wide range of life and professional experiences, including those based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, veteran status, and disability,” the letter states.
Pannell currently serves as executive director for the Anacostia Coordinating Council, a Ward 8 community advocacy organization. He is also a member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, which serves as the governing body for the D.C. Democratic Party.