Biden federal judge nominee’s pro-Chevron work questioned — Analysis

One of Joe Biden’s latest federal judge nominees has environmental activists questioning the Democrat’s connections to Big Oil

This week President Joe Biden appointed a number of judges. One has stood out because she is a Republican Party member, as well as her participation in a Chevron lawsuit against Steven Donziger, an environmental lawyer and human rights advocate. 

“Outraged to learn that Biden has named @Chevron lawyer Jennifer Rearden to be a federal judge,” Donziger tweeted on Thursday in reaction to the nomination, highlighting the lawyer’s work with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP on behalf of Chevron, and claiming that she helped “jail [him], attack Indigenous peoples, and cover up a massive oil spill in the Amazon.”

“Biden must align with Planet Earth. Corrupt,” Donziger added. 

Donziger was one the lawyers who drafted a ruling in Ecuador against Chevron, which was over $9 billion. This Ecuadorian court had found Chevron guilty of large-scale pollution and other serious violations of Indigenous rights. However, three years later the US Federal Court provided support to the company, which prevented the money being collected. 

Donziger was also disbarred and found guilty of professional misconduct. He denied wrongdoing. Environmental activists continue to demand his release from house detention. Donziger has been in what he dubs “illegal detention” since August 2019. 

Fossil Free Media founder Jamie Henn called Rearden’s nomination “atrocious.” 

Many others were shocked to learn that Rearden had been previously nominated by Trump for the position of federal judge in New York’s Southern District. One of many nominees she was not to receive the Senate confirmation vote. Rearden’s nomination was pushed in part by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), according to a report from the Intercept. 

Rearden was a past donor to Gillibrand, as well as many Republican politicians. He also gave $2,300 during Rudy Giuliani’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.

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