By Carol Vaughn — Jamar K. Walker, who graduated in 2004 from Nandua High School, where he was known for his scholarship, was nominated July 13 by President Joe Biden to serve as a judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Walker was nominated to fill the seat of Judge Raymond Alvin Jackson, who recently retired and under whom Walker served as a clerk from 2011 to 2012.
Walker was among six new federal judicial nominees Biden announced last week.
“The President is announcing six new federal judicial nominees, all of whom are extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution,” the announcement read, in part.
“These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” according to the announcement.
Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine in March 2022 wrote to Biden recommending Walker to fill the vacancy following Judge Jackson’s decision to take senior status in November 2021.
“He is a current member of the Old Dominion Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Association of Black Attorneys, and DOJ Pride.
He was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and considers Tidewater his home. Together, these experiences qualify Mr. Walker for this nomination and we are honored to recommend him,” the letter read, in part.
Walker has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia since 2015, according to the White House announcement.
He was an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., from 2012 to 2015.
Walker earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia in 2008 and earned his law degree from the UVa. School of Law in 2011.
Jamar in 2020 was recipient of the LGBT Bar’s 40 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40 Award, according to lgbtqbar.org
If confirmed, Walker will be the first openly LGBTQ Article III judge to serve in Virginia, according to the White House announcement.
Article III of the Constitution governs the appointment, tenure, and payment of Supreme Court justices and federal circuit and district judges. Article III judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
Walker, along with Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Anthony and Managing Assistant Randy Stoker, serves as a coordinator of the Committee on Race in Prosecution and Policing (CORPP) in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office website, https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/diversity-equity-and-inclusion, the committee was established to address instances of police brutality; biases, implicit and explicit, in policing and prosecuting Black people and other communities of color; and other issues related to the intersection of race and law enforcement.
The announcement marked President Biden’s twenty-second round of nominees for federal judicial positions and his ninth slate of nominations in 2022, bringing the number of announced federal judicial nominees to 118.
Walker’s nomination is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.