Prominent Arizona Lawyer Confirmed to the Federal Appeals Court in Phoenix

Photo Credits ACLU Arizona

By Camila Pedrosa

August 5, 2022

Roopali Desai, an attorney known for having argued on behalf of the state in regards to the Republican review of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results, will take over Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz’s seat when he is promoted to Senior Circuit Judge.

Phoenix attorney Roopali Desai was confirmed by the Senate Thursday to preside over the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th District. 

Desai, who will be the first South Asian woman to preside over the federal appeals court, was nominated by President Joe Biden just 50 days ago, which makes her the nominee with the shortest amount of time between nomination and confirmation since President Bill Clinton’s administration. 

She received the most votes out of all of Biden’s circuit court nominees so far, with 67 Senators—including 17 Republicans—in favor of her confirmation. Desai is the president’s first nominee to the Phoenix chambers of the 9th Circuit Court.

In a statement released Thursday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ, shared her congratulations to Desai and said she helped ensure Desai’s confirmation by earning support from both Democratic and Republican senators. 

“Ms. Desai is known and respected for her integrity, fairness, and wealth of legal knowledge, and I’m delighted to secure the broad bipartisan votes for her confirmation,” Sinema said in her statement. “As a judge, Ms. Desai will make Arizona and America proud.”

Desai works with Coppersmith Brockelman in Phoenix, focusing her practice on civil litigation, political law, and civil appeals. She gained prominence after arguing various cases for the state of Arizona, including suing the State Senate Republican leadership over the partisan audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results.

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