Who is Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, the Trump-appointed judge who blocked Biden’s mask mandate?

Judge strikes down mask mandate on transportation 1:14 (CNN) — Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a little-known federal judge appointed by former President Donald Trump, found herself in the national spotlight Monday after striking down the mandate. of wearing a mask on public transportation in the Biden administration. The district judge has served as a federal judge in Florida for more than a year. The Senate vote confirming her for life appointment came in mid-November 2020, after the presidential election. She had been given an “unqualified” rating by the American Bar Association, based on her limited experience after law school. Born in Lakeland, Florida, in 1987, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle graduated in 2012 with a law degree from the University of Florida Levin School of Law. This after earning her college degree from Covenant College, a Christian liberal arts college in Georgia. Kathryn Kimball Mizelle answers questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee during a virtual meeting in September 2020. Background Before becoming a judge, she was an associate at the Jones Day law firm in Washington and an adjunct law professor at her alma mater. Kathryn Kimball Mizelle held four federal internships throughout her career, including one with US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from 2018 to 2019. From 2017 to 2018, she was an attorney for one of the officers of third rank in the Department of Justice, then Deputy Secretary Rachel Brand. There she oversaw the Division of Taxation and led the administration’s efforts to promote free speech on college campuses. She spent about three years as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, where she prosecuted white-collar crimes. Before that she was a special assistant to the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia for a year, she told the Senate Judiciary Committee. According to the American Bar Association, the two cases in which she attempted to render a verdict were in which she said that she was a certified legal intern with the Florida state attorney’s office and was still in law school. . A member of the Federalist Society, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, then 33, was appointed by Trump in early September 2020, in a confirmation that she had no support from Senate Democrats, who were in the minority at the time. “Not Qualified” During her Senate hearing that month, Democrats pressed Mizelle about her lack of experience and other issues, such as an amicus curiae brief she had filed while in private practice, on behalf of clients to support the decision of the Department of Labor not to issue mandatory safety regulations to protect workers from contracting covid-19. Mizelle was also asked about John Eastman, who later pushed to find ways to nullify the presidential election and who was at the time pushing a racist conspiracy theory that Vice President Kamala Harris might not be eligible for the job because her parents were immigrants. Mizelle said she did not endorse the views expressed by Eastman, who worked for the Claremont Institute, where she Mizelle participated in a one-week fellowship. Kathryn Kimball Mizelle was rated “Not Rated” by the American Bar Association when she was designated based on her lack of experience, which is a primary focus of the bar’s rating system. “(A) federal court nominee should ordinarily have at least 12 years of experience in the practice of law,” the association said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2020. In the background, the association adds that “In assessing a candidate’s professional qualifications, the Standing Committee recognizes that it is important to have substantial court and trial experience as a lawyer or trial judge.” What the judge said about her lack of experience Although Mizelle was admitted to practice law in September 2012, the association notes that “a candidate’s limited experience may be offset by the breadth and depth of the candidate’s experience over the years.” throughout his career.” In this case, the association wrote, Mizelle had not tried a civil or criminal case as lead or co-counsel. In its letter, the association said it did not question Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s character or future ability. “Ms. Mizelle has a very sharp intellect, a strong work ethic, and an impressive resume,” the letter says. “He comes across as a charming person and has many friends who support his candidacy. His integrity and demeanor are not in question. However, these attributes simply do not make up for the short time he has been practicing law and his lack of significant trial experience.” . When asked about the letter from the American Bar Association in its Senate Judiciary written questionnaire, Mizelle wrote, “I don’t fully understand their methodology or why they omitted discussion of my litigation as a federal prosecutor where I appeared and I argued in federal district court. During her confirmation hearing, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas asked Mizelle what she would say to litigants concerned about her lack of experience. “I would push myself to figure it out, to learn quickly. I would put all my energy and intensity into mastering the task at hand,” she said. Kathryn Kimball Mizelle was confirmed by the Senate in a 49-41 party line vote in November 2020. She was later sworn in by Thomas. CNN’s Tierney Sneed and Dan Berman contributed to this report.