President Barack Obama has nominated Marisa Demeo and Florence Pan to the D.C. Superior Court, the White House announced Tuesday.
Demeo, a magistrate judge in the Criminal Division of Superior Court, was nominated to fill a vacancy created when Senior Judge Rufus King III stepped down as chief judge in September. Pan, deputy chief of the Appellate Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, was nominated to replace Judge Linda Turner, who retired in December.
“I am pleased to put forward two nominees who have served the people of the District of Columbia with such distinction,” Obama said in a statement. “Marisa Demeo and Florence Pan have dedicated their careers to serving the public good and they will be esteemed and eminent additions to the D.C. Superior Court.”
Obama chose both candidates from a slate the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission forwarded to him in January.
Before leaving office, President George W. Bush had nominated Stuart Nash, an associate deputy attorney general and former D.C. prosecutor, to fill the King vacany. Nash was among three candidates, including Teresa Howie and Maria Raffinan, selected by the JNC in November. The White House said Tuesday that Nash withdrew his nomination. He could not be reached for comment.
As a magistrate judge, Demeo has presided over 75 bench trials involving criminal traffic or other minor misdemeanor charges. Prior to her appointment, she was a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Demeo (NYU Law) has worked for numerous public interest groups, including the AIDS Service Center of Lower Manhattan, the Lambda Legal Defense, and Education Fund, Texas Rural Legal Aid, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. She was an Honors program lawyer in Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
Pan (Stanford Law) began her career as a clerk to former Attorney General Michael Mukasey when he was a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was a Bristow Fellow in DOJ’s Solicitor General’s Office and later an attorney in the Criminal Division's Appellate Section. She joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in 1999 and was elevated to deputy chief of the Appellate Division in 2007.
The JNC is currently seeking public comment on 22 candidates, including eight D.C. Superior Court magistrate judges, for another vacancy on the court created by retiring Superior Court Judge Rafael Diaz.