December 5, 2022

Biden nominates bipartisan slate for the United States Sentencing Commission which has lacked a quorum since 2019

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the October jobs report, Friday, November 5, 2021, in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the October jobs report, Friday, November 5, 2021, in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)

President Biden on Wednesday announced nominees for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a bipartisan independent agency created during the Reagan Administration.  The Commission was created to reduce sentencing disparities and promote transparency and proportionality in criminal sentencing. The Commission has lacked a quorum since 2019, which has prevented it from doing critical business.  

“Today, President Biden is pleased to announce the nominations of these individuals – a bipartisan slate including the first Black chair of the organization – whose confirmations would allow the Commission to conduct its important work,” the White House wrote in a statement.

Below are the individuals who were nominated.

Judge Carlton W. Reeves: Nominee for Commissioner and Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission

Judge Carlton W. Reeves has served as a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi since 2010. Judge Reeves was previously a partner at Pigott Reeves Johnson & Minor, P.A. from 2001 to 2010. From 1995 to 2001, Judge Reeves served as Chief of the Civil Division for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi. From 1991 to 1995, Judge Reeves was an associate at Phelps Dunbar LLP. In 1991, Judge Reeves was a staff attorney for the Supreme Court of Mississippi. Judge Reeves served as a law clerk for Justice Reuben V. Anderson on the Mississippi Supreme Court from 1989 to 1990.

Judge Reeves received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989 and his B.A. from Jackson State University in 1986.

Laura Mate: Nominee for Commissioner and Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission

Laura Mate has served as the Director of Sentencing Resource Counsel, a project of the Federal Public and Community Defenders in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona, since 2021 and from 2010 to 2021 was a member of Sentencing Resource Counsel. From 2001 to 2010, Ms. Mate served in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington in various roles, including as Assistant Federal Public Defender. Ms. Mate was an associate at Perkins Coie LLP from 1998 to 2001.

Ms. Mate received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1998 and her B.A. from Kenyon College in 1992.

Claire McCusker Murray: Nominee for Commissioner and Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission

Claire McCusker Murray served as the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice from 2019 to 2021. She also served as Acting Associate Attorney General in 2021 and as Counselor to the Attorney General in 2019. From 2017 to 2019, Ms. Murray served in the White House Counsel’s Office as Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President. From 2013 to 2017, Ms. Murray worked at Kirkland & Ellis as an associate until she was elevated to partner in 2015. From 2010 to 2012, Ms. Murray served as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice as part of the Attorney General’s Honors Program and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2011. She served as a law clerk for Justice Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court of the United States from 2012 to 2013 and for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2009 to 2010.

Ms. Murray received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2009 and her A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 2004. She also received an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge in 2008 and a d.e.a. from l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris in 2005.

Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo: Nominee for Commissioner and Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission

Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo has served as a United States Court of Appeals Judge for the Third Circuit since 2016. Judge Restrepo previously served as a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 2013 to 2016. Judge Restrepo served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 2006 to 2013. Judge Restrepo was a partner at Krasner & Restrepo from 1993 to 2006. From 1990 to 1993, he served as an Assistant Federal Defender in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and from 1987 to 1990 as an Assistant Defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia.  

Judge Restrepo received his J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1986 and his B.A from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.

Judge Claria Horn Boom: Nominee for Commissioner of the United States Sentencing Commission

Judge Claria Horn Boom has served as a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky since 2018. Judge Boom was previously a partner at Frost Brown Todd LLC. Judge Boom served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2001 to 2002 and for the Western District of Kentucky from 1998 to 2001. From 1995 to 1998, Judge Boom was as an associate at King & SpaldingLLP. Judge Boom served as a law clerk for Judge Pierce Lively on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1994 to 1995.

Judge Boom received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law Schooland her B.A. from Transylvania University, summa cum laude.

Judge John Gleeson: Nominee for Commissioner of the United States Sentencing Commission

Judge John Gleeson is a partner at Debevoise and Plimpton LLP in New York, where he has practiced since 2016. From 1994 to 2016 Judge Gleeson served as a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York. From 1985 to 1994, Judge Gleeson served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Gleeson served as a law clerk for Judge Boyce Martin on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Judge Gleeson received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1980 and his B.A. from Georgetown University in 1975.

Candice C. Wong: Nominee for Commissioner of the United States Sentencing Commission

Candice C. Wong serves as an Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of the Violence Reduction and Trafficking Offenses Section in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Ms. Wong joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 2015, and from 2017 to 2021, was detailed to the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. There, she served in various roles, including as Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Chief of Staff in the Criminal Division. From 2020 to 2021, Ms. Wong also served as the Department of Justice’s ex officio member on the United States Sentencing Commission. Ms. Wong was previously an associate at Bancroft PLLC from 2013 to 2015 and at King & Spalding LLP from 2009 to 2011. Ms. Wong served as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor on the Supreme Court of the United States from 2011 to 2012, and for then-Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2008 to 2009.

Ms. Wong received her J.D. in 2008 from Harvard Law School and her A.B. in 2004 from Harvard College.

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