Issued November 15, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC — A coalition of labor unions including the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) released the following statement today on President Biden’s nomination of Nicole Berner to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals:
“As unions and worker organizations that collectively represent tens of millions of working people providing essential services across our nation, we stand together in strong support of Nicole Berner’s nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Ms. Berner is extraordinarily well-qualified and will bring perspectives that are under-represented to the federal bench. We applaud President Biden for her nomination, which demonstrates his continued commitment to appointing highly qualified judges with diverse personal and professional backgrounds to our justice system.
“Working people know very well how important it is to have a judicial system that provides equal justice to all. In recent years, workers have had to fight to protect their rights including the right to vote, to organize, to have safe workplaces, to access affordable healthcare, and to have fair wages.
“If confirmed, Ms. Berner will bring to the court invaluable experience of representing working people in both federal and state courts. Most recently, she served as General Counsel to the two-million-member Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”). In this role, Ms. Berner litigated cases and advised clients on a wide range of topics ranging from constitutional claims to antitrust disputes to state-law tort claims to labor and employment issues. Before joining SEIU, Ms. Berner spent years advocating for women’s rights and litigating landmark cases at one of our country’s leading law firms. She also clerked for two extraordinarily well-respected federal judges at the beginning of her career, after graduating with the highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley Law.
“In addition to Ms. Berner’s unparalleled academic and professional qualifications, she possesses a sound judicial temperament. She is fair, open-minded, and able to listen and consider all perspectives. She also exemplifies the type of diverse representation that is important in our justice system. If confirmed, Ms. Berner will bring to the bench her life experience as a Jewish, LGBTQ woman, and will be the first openly LGBTQ judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
“Ms. Berner's exemplary personal and professional experience, as well as her character and temperament, ensure that she will be a consequential federal appellate judge. We strongly urge the Senate to vote swiftly to confirm her nomination.”