This morning the White House announced that President Biden intends to nominate Tiffany P. Cunningham, a partner at the law firm of Perkins Coie LLP in Chicago, to serve as a Circuit Judge on the Federal Circuit. In the announcement, the White House highlighted that Cunningham is a registered patent attorney who clerked for Judge Dyk from 2001 to 2002. Her law firm bio also highlights that she holds a degree in chemical engineering from MIT along with her law degree from Harvard Law School. If confirmed, she will be the first African American to serve as a judge on the Federal Circuit. Here is the relevant text of today’s announcement.
President Biden today announced his intent to nominate 10 individuals to serve as Federal Circuit and District Court judges, and one individual to serve as a Superior Court Judge for the District of Columbia. These highly-qualified candidates reflect the President’s deeply-held conviction that the federal bench should reflect the full diversity of the American people – both in background and in professional experience.
These nominees consist of attorneys who have excelled in the legal field in a wide range of positions, including as renowned jurists, public defenders, prosecutors, in the private sector, in the military, and as public servants at all levels of government.
This group also includes groundbreaking nominees, including three African American women chosen for Circuit Court vacancies, as well as candidates who, if confirmed, would be the first Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history, the first AAPI woman to ever serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C., and the first woman of color to ever serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland.
President Biden has had a career-long commitment to the strength of the federal judiciary, and that is reflected in the historically fast pace at which he has moved to fill vacancies on the federal bench. The intent to nominate 11 individuals today is faster than any President in modern history. With respect to Circuit and District Courts, none of the last four administrations had nominated more than two candidates by this point in their presidency.
Statement from President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.:
“This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession. Each is deeply qualified and prepared to deliver justice faithfully under our Constitution and impartially to the American people — and together they represent the broad diversity of background, experience, and perspective that makes our nation strong.”
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Tiffany P. Cunningham has been a partner at Perkins Coie LLP in Chicago, Illinois since 2014. She is a member of the Patent Litigation practice and serves on the 17-member Executive Committee of the firm. Ms. Cunningham serves as trial and appellate counsel for large multinational companies, as well as small enterprises, and individuals in complex patent and trade secret disputes.
Ms. Cunningham is a registered patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. From 2002 to 2014, she worked in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP as an associate until she was elevated to partner in 2007. Ms. Cunningham began her legal career as a law clerk to Judge Timothy B. Dyk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 2001 to 2002. Ms. Cunningham received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2001 and her S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998.