WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today called for the swift confirmation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams as he formally introduced her during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to consider her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. President Biden announced Judge William’s nomination to the federal bench in May.
“Judge Karen Williams may have been born in New York, but she represents the best of New Jersey,” said Sen. Menendez. “I have complete confidence in her judgment, her values, her intellect, and her capacity to serve as a U.S. District Court judge for the District of New Jersey. I urge this Committee to support her historic nomination.”
Karen Williams has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey since 2009. She also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. Prior to her appointment, Judge Williams spent 17 years in private practice at Jasinski & Williams, P.C. in Atlantic City, N.J., where her practice focused on employment law, including litigation in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies.
Judge Williams received her J.D. from the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in 1992 and her B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1985. If confirmed, Judge Williams would be the first Senate-confirmed African American federal judge to sit in the Camden, New Jersey, courthouse.
Last month, the Senate confirmed the appointments of U.S. Magistrate Judge Zahid Quraishi and Julien X. Neals to the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. President Biden also nominated Christine O’Hearn to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in April; her confirmation hearing was held June 23.
Below are Sen. Menendez’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, it’s my pleasure to introduce Karen Williams, an exceptionally-qualified nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, where she has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for more than a decade.
“If confirmed, she would be the first Senate-confirmed African American federal judge to sit in the District of New Jersey’s Camden courthouse. Yet it is the breadth and diversity of her experience in the field of law that makes her such a strong nominee.
“Originally from Long Island, Judge Williams attended Penn State University on a track scholarship, and started out her career as a wage analyst at New York University Medical Center.
“Then, after her mother took a job managing labor relations for the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City, she relocated to Egg Harbor Township and earned her J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia. She’s called South Jersey home ever since.
“Prior to her appointment as a U.S. Magistrate Judge, she spent 17 years practicing employment and labor law at the Atlantic City firm of Jasinski & Williams.
“There, she defended workers’ rights, negotiated collective bargaining agreements between unions and local municipalities, and led litigation before state and federal courts.
“In 1998, Judge Williams successfully argued on behalf of Atlantic City before the New Jersey Supreme Court, in a case that affirmed the local fire department’s ability to discipline a firefighter for hurling racial epithets at a police officer.
“Since her appointment as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in 2009, Judge Williams has displayed an unyielding commitment to the fair administration of justice, to equal rights under the law, and to the safety of our communities.
“Indeed, two of the most notable cases she has presided over involved threats to public safety, one case concerning an individual accused of planning attacks on synagogues and another involving a defendant who advocated for rioting and looting during protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
“In addition, Judge Williams has also served as an adjunct professor at Rowan University, where her classes on law and justice have undoubtedly inspired many students to pursue the legal profession.
“Judge Karen Williams may have been born in New York, but she represents the best of New Jersey.
“I have complete confidence in her judgment, her values, her intellect, and her capacity to serve as a U.S. District Court judge for the District of New Jersey. I urge this Committee to support her historic nomination.