Press Release

December 13, 2023
Cardin, Van Hollen Introduce Biden Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Nominee Nicole Berner to Senate Judiciary Committee
Senators had recommended Nicole Berner to President Joe Biden

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today formally introduced Nicole Berner, President Joe Biden’s nominee for a Maryland seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, to the Senate Judiciary Committee at her confirmation hearing. Ms. Berner has been nominated to fill the vacancy created when Judge Diana Gribbon Motz took senior status in September 2022.

“Nicole Berner has been fighting for civil rights and worker rights throughout her career and breaking glass ceilings along the way. Her vast experience and diverse perspective will be of great benefit to the Fourth Circuit – and Marylanders. She has excelled in a broad range of legal practice at the state and federal levels, and I was pleased to recommend Nicole Berner’s nomination to the White House, along with Senator Van Hollen,’” said Senator Cardin. “Public service is a sacrifice not just for the nominee, but for her family, so I also would like to thank Nicole’s wife and family for agreeing to share Nicole with the American people, given her commitment to public service.” 

“Today, Nicole Berner clearly demonstrated her extensive qualifications and commitment to the rule of law. Drawing on her vast experience that has ranged from providing legal representation for working families and underrepresented communities to working as a litigator advancing civil rights, it’s clear that she is up to the task of serving the American people on the Fourth Circuit. I urge my colleagues on the Committee to quickly advance her nomination to the full Senate,” said Senator Van Hollen.


Nicole G. Berner is General Counsel to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where she has practiced as in-house counsel since 2006. Previously, Ms. Berner served as a staff attorney for Planned Parenthood Federation of America in Washington, D.C. from 2004 to 2006. She worked as a litigation associate at Jenner & Block LLP in Washington, D.C. from 2000 to 2004 after working as a visiting attorney at Yigal Arnon & Co. in Jerusalem, Israel, from 1999 to 2000. Ms. Berner served as a law clerk for Judge Thelton E. Henderson on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California from 1997 to 1998 and for Judge Betty B. Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1996 to 1997. She received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and her M.P.P. from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley in 1996. She received her B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988.

Berner is a longtime resident of Montgomery County, Maryland.  She has been an active member of her synagogue and community, and lives with her wife in Takoma Park, Maryland.