Monica Ramirez Almadani is the second Biden nominee to the Central District of California to have served as President of Public Counsel, after Judge Hernan Vera.
A native Californian, Ramirez Almadani received a B.A. from Harvard University in 2001 and a J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2004.
After law school, Ramirez Almadani clerked for Judge Warren Ferguson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She then joined the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project as a staff attorney. In 2009, Ramirez Almadani moved to the Department of Justice as counsel to Assistant Secretary Tom Perez and then as senior counsel and chief of staff for Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
In 2012, Ramirez Almadani moved to Los Angeles to be a federal prosecutor. Three years later, she shifted to the Attorney General’s Office, serving as a senior advisor to then Attorney General Kamala Harris.
In 2017, Ramirez Almadani joined Covington & Burling as a special counsel. She held that position until she became President of the public interest law firm Public Counsel.
History of the Seat
Ramirez Almadani has been nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, to a seat vacated on April 1, 2022, by Judge John Kronsdadt.
While Ramirez Almadani has held a variety of positions throughout her legal career, she has particularly made a name for herself in the field of immigration law. For example, she represented Juan Manuel Montes, a beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who sued the Trump Administration after he was deported. See Deported DACA Recipient Sues Trump Administration for Unlawfully Withholding Information, Targeted News Service, Apr. 18, 2017. Ramirez Almadani was the primary attorney in the suit under the Freedom of Information Act. See Ray Sanchez, Laura Jarrett and Rosalina Nieves, Judge Attacked by Trump Could Order Return of Deported Man, CNN.com, Aug. 23, 2017.
Ramirez Almadani also represented the California state legislature as amicus curiae in a Chicago suit challenging Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ conditioning of grants to the end of sanctuary city policies. See City of Chi. v. Sessions, 888 F.3d 272 (7th Cir. 2018). She was part of the legal team for the City of Los Angeles in another suit challenging the same policies under Attorney General Bill Barr. See City of Los Angeles v. Barr, 941 F.3d 931 (9th Cir. 2019).
Similarly, in her role as co-Director of the Immigration Clinic of the University of California, Irvine, Ramirez Almadani represented Kelvin Hernandez Roman, who sued the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for failing to comply with California sanctuary laws. See
Writings & Commentary
In her roles, Ramirez Almadani has frequently commented on the law in the media. For example, she criticized Republican John Cox’s statements on forcing homeless individuals to get mental health treatment. See Meghan Roos, Mental Health Experts Assail John Cox’s Plan to ‘Force’ Homeless Into Treatment, Newsweek.com, June 29, 2021.
In 2022, Ramirez Almadani was Berkeley Law’s graduation ceremony speaker. See Staci Zaretsky, Law Schools Are Bringing Out the Best Legal Names as Speakers for In-Person Graduation Ceremonies, Above the Law, May 11, 2022.
Of all the pending California nominees, Ramirez Almadani is likely to draw the most opposition. Republicans will likely object to her work at the ACLU and in suing the Trump Administration. Nonetheless, the expanded Democratic senate majority should be sufficient to confirm her.