Press Release

January 18, 2024
Cardin, Van Hollen Praise Judiciary Committee Approval of Nicole Berner for Maryland Seat on Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Senators had recommended Nicole Berner to President Joe Biden

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

“Nicole Berner has shown her outstanding qualifications and readiness to join the federal judiciary. Since we first recommended her to President Biden, we have been impressed with her spirit and expertise, and her willingness to stand up for worker rights, families, and underrepresented communities throughout her legal career. She has excelled in a broad range of legal practice at the state and federal levels and will bring an important new perspective to the bench. We look forward to a swift confirmation before the full Senate so that she can get to work on behalf of Marylanders and the rule of law,” said Senator Cardin.

“For decades, Nicole Berner has represented working families and historically underrepresented communities. Her vast qualifications and accomplishments clearly show that she is dedicated to the rule of law, fairness, and the principles of democracy – but more than that, her character has shown her to be a champion of those too often left behind by the legal system. We need judges like Nicole in our legal system, which is why I’m glad to see the Judiciary Committee move forward on this nomination, and why we’ll be working swiftly towards her full Senate confirmation,” 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.