Joe Biden’s choice for Colorado judgeship would make LGBTQ history

President Joe Biden plans to nominate a Denver employment lawyer for a federal judgeship, the White House announced Thursday. She would be the first openly LGBTQ federal judge in the state’s history if she is confirmed.

Charlotte Sweeney is a partner at Sweeney and Bechtold, a Denver firm that specializes in employment law. She has been a lawyer since graduating from the University of Denver in 1995, according to a White House news release.

Sweeney’s nomination now goes to the U.S. Senate. If confirmed by senators, she will also be the first openly LGBTQ woman to serve as a federal district court judge west of the Mississippi, according to the White House.

“Charlotte has dedicated her career to fighting for equality,” U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper said in a joint news release Thursday.

“We are confident her vast experience along with her skills, passion, and integrity have prepared her for this role on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado,” the Democrats added.

Sweeney also has the support of Demand Justice, a liberal group that opposed a previous Biden pick for U.S. District Court in Colorado. Demand Justice said Sweeney’s “experience representing workers in a system stacked in favor of employers gives her a valuable perspective that will benefit the entire court.”

Sweeney represented Valerie McNaughton, a Denver city employee who received a $460,000 settlement in 2017 after making allegations that she was being paid less than her male peers, The Denver Post reported.

Sweeney declined to comment on her nomination Thursday.

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