Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-6 in favor of President Biden’s nomination of Tiffany P. Cunningham to the Federal Circuit. As a result, her nomination has advanced to the full Senate and has been placed on the Senate’s Executive Calendar.
Her support from the Judiciary Committee is not surprising. She has a degree in chemical engineering from MIT; a law degree from Harvard; she clerked at the court; and she has significant experience in patent litigation. Media reports highlighted how she “sprinted through” her confirmation hearing. And, unlike other Circuits like the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Circuit does not have jurisdiction over types of cases that often attract political fights.
When confirmed and she receives her commission, Cunningham, currently a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie, will make history in that she will be the first African American judge on the Federal Circuit.