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Biden Selects CSKT Attorney Danna Jackson for U.S. District Court Judgeship

Attorney Danna Jackson (Credits: Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

President Joe Biden has nominated Danna Jackson, an esteemed attorney representing the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, to succeed Judge Dana Christensen in the U.S. District Court of Montana. If confirmed, Jackson would become the first Native American federal judge in Montana, marking a significant milestone in the state’s legal history.

With an impressive legal background, Jackson brings a wealth of experience to the table. She previously served as chief legal counsel to the Montana Department of Natural Resources from 2016 to 2021, where she demonstrated a steadfast commitment to upholding the law with fairness and integrity.

Additionally, her tenure as an attorney within the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2021 to 2023 further solidifies her expertise in tribal law and natural resource issues.

Biden (Credits NPR)

Jackson’s roots on the Flathead Indian Reservation have deeply influenced her career trajectory and dedication to serving her community. Throughout her professional journey, she has consistently advocated for the rights and interests of tribal communities, earning the respect and admiration of her peers.

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester applauded Jackson’s nomination, praising her proven track record and extensive experience within the state’s legal system. He expressed confidence that Jackson would bring high standards of fairness and integrity to the federal judiciary, underscoring her qualifications to serve the District of Montana effectively.

However, Republican Senator Steve Daines voiced disappointment over the lack of consultation from President Biden regarding the nomination.

While not directly criticizing Jackson, Daines emphasized the importance of judges who uphold the Constitution and maintain balance within the courts. He stressed the need for a thorough review of Jackson’s background and record to determine if she is the right fit for Montana.

President Joe Biden (Credits: Fox Business)

In the confirmation process, the Senate Judiciary Committee traditionally considers input from home-state senators through “blue slips.” These submissions reflect the senators’ perspectives on the nominee and influence the committee’s decision on recommending confirmation to the full Senate.

Depending on the confirmation timeline and the outcome of the November election, Jackson’s nomination may undergo scrutiny from Tester’s Republican opponent, Gallatin County businessman Tim Sheehy.

Regardless of the political landscape, Jackson’s nomination represents a remarkable step forward for diversity and representation on the federal bench in Montana. Her appointment would not only break barriers but also ensure that the judiciary reflects the rich shade of Montana’s legal landscape.

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