LDF Attorney Natasha Merle Confirmed to the U.S. District Court docket for the Jap District of New York

Read a PDF of our assertion in this article.

Right now, the United States Senate voted to ensure Natasha Merle to the United States District Court for the Japanese District of New York. Ms. Merle has served at LDF due to the fact 2016, as Assistant Counsel, Senior Counsel, and most just lately as Deputy Director of Litigation, and is the 1st legal professional considering the fact that LDF’s founder Thurgood Marshall, who grew to become the initially Black Associate Justice of the Supreme Courtroom of the United States, to be confirmed specifically from the corporation to the federal bench.  Justice Marshall was elevated in 1961 to the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ms. Merle is the 100th district court judge confirmed by the United States Senate under the Biden-Harris Administration.  

In response to Ms. Merle’s confirmation, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson issued the following assertion:

“We enthusiastically congratulate Natasha Merle, our LDF colleague, on her nicely-deserved and historic confirmation as a U.S. District Court docket Decide for the Eastern District of New York. Throughout her exemplary occupation, Ms. Merle has demonstrated to be a outstanding authorized expert who is dedicated to the protection of civil legal rights, the rule of legislation, and democracy. We are thrilled that she will now carry these laudable qualities and her prodigious capabilities to the bench as a federal choose.

“The Senate’s affirmation of Ms. Merle is a recognition of the simple strengths she delivers to our federal court docket system. She will be the 1st former public defender to serve on the bench for the Jap District in practically 30 years — and is only the second choose in the historical past of the Jap District to have been a community defender. She is also the 100th district court choose to be confirmed in the Biden-Harris Administration and demonstrates the Administration’s continued commitment to incorporating both equally range of practical experience and qualifications to our nation’s courts. Ms. Merle delivers that and additional, owning litigated in advance of point out and federal courts at every single level, like before the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. She has also offered authorized defense to indigent customers facing cash punishment. In her roles as Assistant Counsel, Senior Counsel, and Deputy Director of Litigation at LDF, Ms. Merle has served as counsel on a vast array of important circumstances to guard civil legal rights, which includes the proper to vote. She now follows a route established by luminaries like Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, both of those famous LDF alumni who became trail-blazing federal judges.

“We applaud the addition of Ms. Merle’s deep authorized practical experience, high ethical standards, and collegiality — which we will pass up greatly at LDF — to the district courtroom of the Jap District of New York.”


Established in 1940, the Legal Protection Fund (LDF) is the nation’s very first civil legal rights law business. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within just LDF that launches qualified strategies and undertakes revolutionary research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, make sure you refer to us as the Authorized Protection Fund or LDF. Be sure to notice that LDF has been wholly independent from the Countrywide Association for the Improvement of Colored Individuals (NAACP) because 1957—although LDF was initially established by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.

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