President Joe Biden announced on July 29 the nominations of eight new federal judicial nominees and his intent to nominate a ninth federal judicial nominee, including Justice Maria Araújo Kahn ’89 of the Connecticut Supreme Court for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Justice Kahn has served as an associate justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court—the state’s highest court—since November 2017. She previously served as a judge on the Connecticut Appellate Court for one term in 2017, as a judge of the Superior Court for 11 years, and as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Haven for nine years investigating and prosecuting complex white collar investigations in both civil and criminal matters. Early in her career, Justice Kahn was a staff attorney at the Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Disabilities, and was a deputy assistant public defender in the Division of Public Defender Services.
“We offer our hearty congratulations to Justice Kahn on this critically important nomination. We are so proud that she is an alumna of ours working so consistently throughout her career in the service of others to ensure justice is served,” said Dean Matthew Diller.
Finding a New Home, Including at Fordham Law
Maria Araújo Kahn immigrated to the United States with her family in 1975 to escape civil war in her native Angola.
Justice Kahn received a B.A. in politics, cum laude, from New York University in 1986, then earned her J.D. from Fordham Law in 1989. While attending Fordham Law, she was named the first recipient of the Noreen E. McNamara ’51 Memorial Endowed Scholarship and served on the Moot Court board. Upon graduation, Justice Kahn served as a law clerk to Judge Peter C. Dorsey on the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
“Justice Kahn’s life story is the epitome of the American Dream. For more than 30 years, she has dedicated herself to the greater good by serving others as a public defender, an advocate for individuals with disabilities, a prosecutor, and a jurist. The Fordham Law alumni community is incredibly honored and proud to call Justice Maria Kahn one of our own,” said Ed Joyce, president of the Fordham Law Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.
A Worthy Nomination
Justice Kahn and her fellow nominees are “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution” noted a statement from the White House. President Biden’s choices, “also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country—both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds.”