Jerry W. Blackwell, a Minnesota lawyer who made the opening and closing rebuttal statements in the Floyd case, was nominated by Biden this week to be United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota.
Blackwell’s nomination was praised by Minnesota Democrats including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), and state Attorney General Keith Ellison (D-MN).
“Jerry Blackwell is widely respected and loved within the Minnesota legal community,” Klobuchar said. “His extensive trial experience — including the successful prosecution of the murder of George Floyd — makes him an excellent choice to be a U.S. District Court Judge. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to confirm him.”
Smith praised Blackwell’s “experience and commitment to equal justice will make him an excellent federal judge.” If confirmed, this would be Blackwell’s first stint as a judge, the Star Tribune noted.
The lawyer was assigned to the team prosecuting Derek Chauvin by Ellison, who was effusive in his praise of Blackwell, describing him as a “one-in-a-million lawyer.”
“He’s brilliant, thoughtful and fair, not to mention a pioneer among African American attorneys,” Ellison stated. “It’s hard to imagine how anyone could be better qualified for the federal bench.”
Al Sharpton also praised Biden for the nomination of Blackwell.
In recent years, Blackwell appears to have made several large political donations to Minnesota Democrats. A Jerry Blackwell in Minneapolis made a pair of $1,000 donations to Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) in 2018 and 2019, according to data from Open Secrets. A Jerry Blackwell in Minneapolis also gave donations of $1,500 and $2,500 to Keith Ellison.
The Daily Wire reached out to Blackwell’s law firm to confirm whether he made the donations or not.
The lawyer has also done legal work for large corporations like Walmart and General Mills.
Blackwell could be a key figure in the court, as three judges currently serving had been nominated by Republican presidents and three by Democratic presidents. Blackwell would be the seventh seat on the court.
Biden has continued to make key judicial appointments throughout his presidency. Last month he nominated Rachel Bloomekatz, a Biden-Harris campaign state counsel, to the conservative-leaning United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Bloomekatz’s bio says that she “represented progressive candidates in Ohio, including serving as Senator Sherrod Brown’s legal director for his 2012 reelection campaign.”
After news of her nomination broke, progressive groups like Demand Justice, Earthjustice, and the Alliance for Justice all praised her nomination by Biden.