President Barack Obama has not been able to move his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, through the Senate but Republicans continue to advance the president’s lower court nominees.
The chamber on Monday is set to take up the nomination of Paula Xinis, a partner and senior trial attorney at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy—the Baltimore law firm that secured a $6.4 million settlement from the city of Baltimore in September in the wrongful death case of Freddie Gray.
If confirmed as a U.S. District Court judge for Maryland, Xinis, 47, could serve for life.
In April 2015, after being arrested for possessing an illegal switchblade, Gray, 25, received a spinal cord injury in the back of a police van and died a week later. Gray had a lengthy criminal record.
A medical examiner ruled Gray’s death a homicide. His death drew national attention after sparking riots, arson, and vandalism in West Baltimore as well as peaceful protests. Trials continue for the six police officers charged in the case.