Civil rights expert confirmed as federal court judge

Jessica Clarke will serve as a Federal Judge in the Southern District of New York.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced the confirmation of Jessica Clarke to serve as a district judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday. Schumer forwarded the name of Jessica Clarke for the Southern District of New York to the Biden-Harris administration and championed her nomination.

 “Jessica Clarke is a civil rights expert, who has worked vigorously to address both systemic and repeated violations of civil rights law. From her experience enforcing fair housing laws to her pursuit of equal access to education, Ms. Clarke has demonstrated her ability and dedication to ensuring the law and our institutions work for—and represent—all of us equally,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

 “Ms. Clarke had all the opportunities in the world to enter private practice in New York, but instead she chose the path of public service. She’s worked in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the NY Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau,” Schumer added. “In addition to her considerable legal acumen, she will bring a fresh perspective to the federal bench based on her expertise and life experience, and I was proud to recommend her to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.”

Ms. Clarke will be the third Black woman actively serving on the bench of the Southern District of New York. Additionally, with Ms. Clarke’s confirmation, half of New York’s active district court judges are women.  Jessica Clarke is the Civil Rights Bureau Chief in the New York Attorney General’s Office. In this role, which she has held since 2019, she oversees the Bureau’s work to address systemic or repeated violations of federal, state, or local civil rights law in New York. She has led or overseen the Bureau’s work to enforce fair housing laws, ensure New York students’ equal access to education, and address police reform in the state. She previously spent six years (2010-2016) at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and three years (2016-2019) at the New York City law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady.