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South Carolina judge nominated by Biden to U.S. Appeals Court

DeAndrea Benjamin has been a judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit since 2011.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — President Joe Biden has nominated Columbia Judge DeAndrea Benjamin to be on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the highest courts in America.

The White House issued its latest round of nominations Tuesday afternoon for federal judgeships, a list that included Benjamin. Her nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate

Benjamin is currently a judge in the Fifth Judicial Circuit, which oversees Richland and Kershaw Counties, and rules on issues involving both criminal cases and civil cases.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, headquartered in Virginia, is one of 13 federal circuit courts and has jurisdiction over South Carolina. Those courts are the highest in the nation other than the U.S. Supreme Court and often can be the final decider on many key issues. 

Benjamin has been on bench in the Fifth Circuit since 2011. Prior to that she was a prosecutor in both the Fifth Circuit Solicitor's Office and the Attorney General's Office. 

She also served in private practice and was a city judge for Columbia from 2004 to 2011. 

Benjamin grew up in Columbia and graduated from the Winthrop University and got her law degree from the University of South Carolina. She is the wife of former Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.

The White House says if approved she'd be the second woman of color to serve on the Fourth Circuit. 

RELATED: Senate panel approves Michelle Childs for DC appeals court

She'd also be another Black female jurist from South Carolina to get a major promotion in recent months. In July, Michelle Childs was approved to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, after first being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court. Like Benjamin, Childs is also a University of South Carolina graduate. 


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