Press Release

March 30, 2021
Cardin, Van Hollen Praise Biden Nominees Deborah Boardman and Lydia Griggsby for Maryland U.S. District Court Seats

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today praised President Joseph Biden’s nomination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Boardman and U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Lydia Griggsby, who would be the first woman of color and first Black woman to serve as a district court judge in Maryland, to fill vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

“Judge Boardman brings tremendous experience to the courtroom as a sitting U.S. Magistrate Judge in Maryland,” said Senator Cardin.  “She already handles a heavy caseload in our federal court, and has previously served as the First Assistant Federal Public Defender of Maryland, in addition to working in private practice.”

“Judge Griggsby has served for seven years as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which has national jurisdiction to hear complex monetary damages claims against the federal government,” continued Sen. Cardin.  “She brings to the bench a wide array of professional experiences from our other two branches of government, as both a trial attorney and prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice and as counsel to the Senate Ethics and Judiciary committees.”

“I was pleased to recommend the nominations of Judges Boardman and Griggsby to President Biden along with Senator Van Hollen,” concluded Sen. Cardin.  “Judicial nominees must meet the highest standards of integrity, competence, and temperament.  These two judges will safeguard the rights of all Marylanders, uphold the Constitution and rule of law, and faithfully follow the judicial oath to ‘do equal right to the poor and to the rich.’ I am confident that both of these judges will serve the people of Maryland very well once confirmed for these lifetime appointments.”

“To provide Marylanders fair, just, and equal treatment under the law, our judicial system and our judges must be wholly dedicated to these principles. I’m proud to join Senator Cardin today in supporting the nomination of two judges who I know will serve the people of Maryland with integrity and distinction. For too long our justice system has underrepresented many of America’s voices. I share President Biden’s goal for a diverse federal bench and Maryland’s nominees reflect that commitment. I am confident that these two judges have the experience – both in and out of the courtroom – to uphold Marylanders’ values and protect their rights under our laws,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Having served Marylanders as a public defender for over ten years, Judge Boardman knows firsthand the importance of ensuring every voice is fairly represented in our courts. Her strong Maryland roots have given her a deep knowledge and love of our state, and her breadth and diversity of professional experience has fully prepared her to take on this role,” Senator Van Hollen added.

“Judge Griggsby has spent over twenty years in public service – fighting for Americans’ rights in a wide range of roles including on the bench, in Congress, and at the Department of Justice. Judge Griggsby’s deep commitment to public service and justice for all is what we all want in our courts. I look forward to the day she is sworn in as the first woman of color on the federal bench in Maryland,” Senator Van Hollen continued.

Judge Boardman has been nominated to fill the future vacancy created when Judge Richard Bennett, appointed by President Bush in 2003, announced his intention to take senior status upon the confirmation of his successor.  Judge Griggsby has been nominated to fill the future vacancy created when Judge Catherine Blake, appointed by President Clinton in 1995, announced her intention to take senior status on April 2, 2021.  Senators Cardin and Van Hollen are continuing to work with the Biden Administration on a potential nominee to fill the future vacancy created when Judge Ellen Hollander, appointed by President Obama in 2010, announced her intention to take senior status upon the confirmation of her successor.


Judge Boardman was born in Silver Spring and raised in Maryland.  She attended Frederick County public schools. She received her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Villanova University. After college, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Amman, Jordan. She received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was a member of The Virginia Law Review. Upon graduation, she was a law clerk for the Honorable James C. Cacheris of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. For six years, Judge Boardman was an associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells) in Washington, DC, where she practiced complex commercial litigation. She had an active pro bono practice and was selected to serve as the senior associate in Hogan’s pro bono department. In 2008, Judge Boardman joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the District of Maryland. In 2015, she was named the First Assistant Federal Public Defender. During her 11-year tenure with the Federal Defender’s office, Judge Boardman represented individuals charged with federal crimes in the Greenbelt and Baltimore courthouses.  She was appointed as a Magistrate Judge in 2019.  She resides in Baltimore.


Judge Griggsby was born in Baltimore and is a life-long Maryland resident.  She is a graduate of the Park School of Baltimore.  She earned a B.A. in public policy political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.  She served an associate with the law firm of DLA Piper, LLP.  For 3 years, she was a trial attorney with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she litigated complex civil matters before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  From 1998 to 2004, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.  She served for 2 years as counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.  From 2004 to 2008, she served as Privacy Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee.  From 2009 to 2014 she served as Chief Counsel for Privacy and Information Policy on the Judiciary Committee for Senator Patrick Leahy.  She was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims in 2014.  She currently serves as the Chair of the Court’s Committee on Legislation and Policy and as a member of the Court’s Management Committee.  She resides in Silver Spring.

If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Griggsby would the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Maryland.