Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), voted in favor of reporting out four D.C. Superior Court and Court of Appeals nominees during a business meeting earlier this week. States and local governments typically make decisions over their own judicial systems – yet in the absence of statehood for Washington, D.C., the federal government must step in to appoint and confirm their judges. Senator Carper’s legislation to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., S. 51 – the Washington, D.C. Admission Act – would fix this historic injustice. The legislation now boasts 45 cosponsors, a record number, and Carper has introduced statehood legislation every Congress since 2013.

“This week is yet another stark reminder that unlike every other state in our nation, the District of Columbia does not have power over its own judicial system. Instead, the Senate has confirmation power over the District’s judges, an arrangement that has needlessly led to extensive judicial vacancies and delayed justice for years,” Carper said. “These vacant seats often lead to a D.C. resident waiting unnecessarily for their day in court and moment of justice and due process—for the nearly 700,000 Americans that call the District home, justice delayed is justice denied. This is a historic wrong that needs to be righted, and we cannot wait any longer. It’s past time to make statehood a reality.”

The following nominees were confirmed out of committee, and now await confirmation by the full Senate:

  • Nomination of Tovah R. Calderon to be an Associate Judge, District of Columbia Court of Appeals;
  • Nomination of Kenia Seoane Lopez to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia;
  • Nomination of Rupa R. Puttagunta to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia;
  • Nomination of Sean C. Staples to be an Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia. 

###