07/01/2014 03:21 pm ET Updated Jul 01, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Taps Corporate Attorney For Judicial Slot, Despite Calls For Professional Diversity


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a strong case earlier this year for the need for more professional diversity on the federal bench. The judiciary is stacked with corporate attorneys, she has said, and it's time to make room for judges with backgrounds representing the public interest.

"Power is becoming more and more concentrated on one side," she said in February. "Professional diversity is one way to insulate the courts from corporate capture."

But it appears Warren isn't taking her own advice.

The senator has recommended Allison Burroughs to the White House as a nominee for a Massachusetts federal court, according to a source close to the process, her first recommendation since making that speech. Burroughs, a partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, has spent much of her career as a corporate attorney or prosecutor. Her biography page highlights her representation of pharmaceutical companies and other white-collar clients, and notes that she co-authored “A Primer for Litigating Against the Massachusetts Securities Division," a division that enforces state laws prohibiting securities fraud.

Aides for both Warren and the White House declined to discuss the matter.

Warren has made three more judicial recommendations since being elected, all of whom appear more in line with her philosophy: Indira Talwani, a labor and employment lawyer; Mark Mastroianni, a district attorney focused on criminal defense matters; and Leo Sorokin, a magistrate judge who spent nearly a decade as a federal public defender. All three were subsequently nominated and confirmed.



Elizabeth Warren