Maria Elizabeth “Maribeth” Raffinan has become President Barack Obama’s latest nomination to a seat on the D.C. Superior Court. Raffinan is currently a supervising attorney in the D.C. Public Defender Service’s Trial Division.
Raffinan joined PDS in 1999. In 2007, she co-chaired the Deborah T. Creek Criminal Practice Institute, an annual training program for criminal defense practitioners in D.C. She earned her law degree from Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and has served as an adjunct professor at that school.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Obama said, “Throughout her career Maribeth Raffinan has shown a commitment to justice and public service.”
Nominations to D.C. Superior Court tend not to draw much attention outside of Washington. But some of Obama’s recent nominees have found themselves caught up in the ebb and flow of Washington politics. Former Magistrate Judge Marisa Demeo, who opposed the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit at the beginning of George W. Bush's presidency, drew fire for her past advocacy on behalf of Hispanic Americans, although she was confirmed as an associate judge in April.
And last month, three nominees were confirmed to be judges on the court only after Senate Democrats were able to break deadlocks that had ensnared a number of Obama’s appointments.
If she is confirmed by the Senate, Raffinan will serve a 15-year term.