US president nominates Trinidad woman to serve as district judge

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Trinidad-born Sparkle L. Sooknanan who has been nominated by US President Joe Biden to serve as a US district judge. – Photo courtesy St Francis College USA page

US president Joe Biden has nominated a Trinidadian woman to serve as a district judge on the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

He nominated Sparkle L. Sooknanan on February 21 as part of the president’s 46th round of judicial nominees.

The announcement was reported on several sites, including the White House and two of her alma maters, St Francis College (SFC) and the Brooklyn Law School.

On February 28, SFC reported that to date, Sooknanan has had an impressive career in the law.

She has been the principal deputy assistant attorney general in the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division since 2023.

She served as a deputy associate attorney general from 2021 to 2023, after working as an appellate attorney in the Civil Division from 2012 to 2013.

“In between her stints at the Justice Department, Sooknanan worked in private practice at Jones Day in Washington, DC, becoming a partner in 2020. Other career highlights include serving as a law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the US Supreme Court from 2013 —2014.

It added that she left Trinidad and Tobago for New York City at 16 to further her education.

The article referred to her as a first-generation college student.

“After completing her undergraduate studies at SFC, she went on to graduate, in 2010, from Brooklyn Law School, which she attended part-time at night while holding a full-time job,” it said.

At both institutions, she earned summa cum laude (graduated with the highest distinctions).

Sooknanan also holds an MBA with distinction from Hofstra University.In 2017, as part of SFC’s Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series, she moderated a talk at the College with justice Sotomayor.

Sooknanan was among four people nominated to federal district courts.A statement from the White House on February 21 said the nominees were extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and the US Constitution.

The president also nominated two people to serve as US Attorney.

The statement said, “These are officials who will be indispensable to upholding the rule of law as top federal law enforcement officials.”

“These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice.”