Schumer Recommends Ghislaine Maxwell Judge to Appeals Court

( On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he had recommended the judge in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, US District Judge Alison J. Nathan, for an appointment to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In his statement, Schumer, who had recommended Nathan for her current position in 2011, called Nathan “an outstanding judge” and praised her “legal brilliance.”

President Joe Biden is likely to approve of Schumer’s recommendation and nominate Nathan. She would then need to be confirmed by the Senate. That confirmation process could overlap with the Maxwell trial where jury selection got underway this week.

There was some speculation on Tuesday that, given her possible nomination, Judge Nathan may remove herself from the Maxwell trial. However, recusal would not be required in this circumstance.

A spokesman for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York told the New York Times that if nominated, he believed that Judge Nathan would “continue to do her day job” and remain the presiding judge in the Maxwell case “to its conclusion.”

Nathan would be the second openly gay woman to serve as an appeals court judge, which is probably why Chuck Schumer recommended her and also why President Biden will accept his recommendation. Before her placement on the US District Court, Nathan served as special counsel to the solicitor general of New York State.

On Wednesday morning, Judge Nathan put the question of recusal to rest.

She said in court that she would continue “to do my day job” including presiding over the sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell until its completion. Nathan added that she was “honored” at the prospect of serving on the Appeals Court.

Since Tuesday morning, Judge Nathan has been interviewing potential jurors for the Maxwell trial, quizzing them about their ability to remain impartial in the high-profile case.

The jury selection process will continue until prosecutors and defense attorneys agree on the twelve sitting jurors and six alternates.

Maxwell is accused in a six-count indictment of procuring underage girls for multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to 2004.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.