May 2022 President's Letter

Written by National Association of Women Judges|May 04, 2022|Monthly Update Archive

judge-e.-white.pngIt’s been another busy month for NAWJ. I’m so excited that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to the United States Supreme Court, the first black woman ever! Another first is the confirmation of Judge Patricia Guerrero as the first Latina California Supreme Court Justice.  April also saw the confirmation of NAWJ member Judge Nadia Keilani to the San Diego Superior Court. Nadia came to the United States from Baghdad, Iraq at the age of nine. All three of these women represent the diverse judicial leadership which NAWJ has strived to achieve since its formation in 1979.
NAWJ’s Master Calendar was launched on April 1 and a review of the activities of our members, Districts and Committees demonstrates just how active our organization is. There were seven committee meetings, a District Director Meeting and three webinars!  Please check out the calendar found under the Events tab on the NAWJ website.
Netflix will begin airing 'YOUTH v GOV' – an independent feature-length, award-winning documentary about the groundbreaking children’s climate case, Juliana v. United States. It will air globally in over 31 languages, starting Friday, April 29th.  NAWJ members who attended the midyear meeting learned about this litigation from our plenary speaker Julia Olson of Our Childrens Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing climate change through the courts.
The Domestic Violence Committee continues to address the need for a definition of “consent” in sexual assault cases which does not put the burden of proof on the victim to show lack of consent. Two meaningful Zoom calls between members of NAWJ’s Domestic Violence Committee, myself, and members of the American Law Institute (“ALI”), I of NAWJ, resulted in my signing a letter on behalf of NAWJ to the ALI seeking to modify the language to be included in the Model Penal Code. We are sending a second letter before the ALI meets in May to finalize the language.  We are hopeful that the revised Model Penal Code reflects our input.  Thanks to Judge Bobbie McCartney, Judge Tracey Fleming-Davilier, Judge Amy Krause, and Lynn Hecht Schafran for all of their important work in this effort.
The Immigration Committee’s  webinar entitled “Immigration Update – Issues and Current Developments” aired on April 12 to great acclaim.
The Administrative Judiciary Committee’s webinar entitled  “Paths to the Administrative Judiciary Bench” aired on April 21 and was very well received.
The Judicial Independence Committee’s webinar “Why Courts Are Under Attack and What Judges Can Do About It” aired on April 26 and was another big hit.

On April 6, I served as a panelist in a Women’s Leadership Forum sponsored by the National Conference of Bar Presidents’ 21st Century Lawyer Committee entitled “A Conversation with Women Bar Leaders. It was inspiring to speak to lawyers seeking to become female leaders in their legal communities and to effect the change which NAWJ heartily endorses.
Registration is now open for the annual conference in Detroit to be held October 19-22. The planning is well underway. I have enjoyed dropping into Zooms where the educational components are being put together, entertainment is being planned and money is being raised. It promises to be an amazing time.  The theme is “All Rise: Standing Up for Global Justice in the City that Moved the World.”  
We are working on collaborations, grants and other exciting opportunities so stay tuned!

As always, I love hearing your ideas and getting your input. 

Hon. Elizabeth A. White (ret.)
President, NAWJ

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