Ana Reyes – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Williams & Connolly Partner Ana Reyes, nominated for the federal district court in D.C., would be the first Hispanic woman and the first LGBTQ judge on the District of D.C.

Background

Born in Uruguay, Ana Reyes received her B.A. from Transylvania University in 1996 and then spent a year organizing against California Proposition 209 (which barred affirmative action in public employment) before joining Harvard Law School for her J.D.

After graduating, Reyes clerked for Judge Amalya Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then joined the D.C. office of Williams & Connolly, where she currently works as a Partner.

History of the Seat

The seat Reyes has been nominated for will open upon the move of Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly to senior status.

Legal Experience

Other than her position as a clerk, Reyes has spent her entire career at Williams & Connolly, where she works in civil litigation and arbitration. Reyes has notably worked on a number of international disputes, including representing Spain in a dispute over the withdrawal of economic incentives for renewable projects. See Clark Mindock, Spain Wins Pause of $66M Energy Investor Award, Law360, Apr. 1, 2021.

In other matters, Reyes was part of the legal team challenging the Trump Administration’s restrictions on refugees entering the United States through ports of entry. See O.A. v. Trump, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 242294 (D.D.C. Nov. 20, 2018); see also Court Strikes Down Trump Administration Policy Barring Refugees From Asylum, States News Service, Aug. 2, 2019. Reyes has also been active in asylum representation on a pro bono basis, including the representation of three African women fleeing genital mutilation in Guinea. See African Women Win Appeal to Deportation, Washington Informer, July 10, 2008.

Statements and Writings

In 2011, Reyes authored an article discussing her experiences working with a family that was seeking to escape torture and mutilation in their home country. See Ana C. Reyes, Representing Torture Victims and Other Asylum Seekers, 37 Litigation 23 (Summer 2011). Reyes closed the piece by noting that representing torture victims and asylum seekers was a way for lawyers “to fundamentally change lives.” Id. at 27.

Overall Assessment

While Reyes’ background in international arbitration and civil litigation is unlikely to draw much fire as a judicial nominee, some senators may look askance at her suits against the Trump Administration. As such, while Reyes is favored for the bench, she may nonetheless have a rocky road to confirmation.

11 Comments

  1. I will admit when her name was floated last year I started looking her up & I couldn’t find too much about her other then she was a law partner. With the need for more Hispanic judges I wasn’t sold on her at first just because she is Latina. But since she has been announced I have been able to find a lot more information on her & she keeps getting better & better each time.

    She is a fantastic nominee. I would give her an A.

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  2. I give this nomination a B+, which is the highest grade I would give a corporate law partner for a court where there just are plenty of highly qualified public interest lawyers.
    Reyes has very strong progressive credentials, but gets a substantial downgrade for her extensive experience in defending corporate interests.

    On a side note, I suspect this guy, Louis Lopez, was probably on Thomas Saenz’ list for the DC Circuit. Too bad he is over 50.

    Click to access 2020-bio-photo-l-lopez.pdf

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    • Which angers me even more that they had her plus all 50 Dems in town this week & couldn’t work all day Thursday & Friday. Now VP Harris will retune & a senator will go out for Covid or something else.

      On another note, two more district court judges announced senior status & both gave dates instead of upon the confirmation of their successor. Michigan judge Gershwin Drain & Tennessee judge John Fowlkes. They both won’t be filled before 2025 at the rate we are going.

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