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Blumenthal & Murphy Introduce U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut Nominees Sarala Nagala and Omar Williams Before Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, in a hearing of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced Sarala Nagala and Omar Williams, two of President Biden’s nominees to fill vacancies on the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Following today’s hearing, Nagala’s and Williams’s nominations are expected to receive a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. If approved, their nominations will then receive a vote by the full Senate. 

While chairing the hearing, Blumenthal praised Nagala’s work in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut and noted, “Her years of experience as a federal prosecutor will be invaluable for the District of Connecticut as a judge,” and that she will, “make a positive and longstanding contribution to the judiciary and legal system. “Ms. Nagala if confirmed, will be the first person of Asian and South Asian descent to serve as an Article III judge in the District of Connecticut and I am thrilled, just to repeat, can’t repeat too many times, that President Biden continues to nominate individuals who will bring personal and professional diversity to the federal bench.”

Blumenthal highlighted Williams’s experience as a public defender and his time as a judge on the Connecticut Superior Court, saying: “I know his experience as a public defender will undoubtedly provide an underrepresented and much needed perspective to the federal judiciary.” “Since taking the bench, Judge Williams has consistently, and I mean consistently and constantly, shown a level of handed balanced approach deciding cases, fairly treating both prosecutors and defense attorneys in cases before him,” Blumenthal continued. “I know Judge Williams’ measured and insightful, incisive approach combined with his judicial experience will make him highly qualified to serve on the District of Connecticut.”

"These are two nominees that have had very difficult jobs in their respective roles in the state's criminal justice system, and I’m just thrilled to be able to associate myself with these two nominees,” said Murphy. “Judge Williams talks a lot about the professional diversity that he believes makes him a better judge. We have highlighted the fact that he spent time as a public defender before coming to the bench. But he notes in his application that he also spent time as a service technician for a telephone company, a house painter, a waiter, and a TV rental agent. And all of those experiences, in his mind and in our mind, made him and make him a better judge.”

Murphy continued: “Sarala Nagala is impressive in her own right, a very difficult job as the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit. Just like Judge Williams, she has had a meteoric rise, but she has also found time to understand the importance of living in her community and building out a support system for prosecutors, police departments, and in our educational system.” 

Sarala Nagala is an Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. In the U.S. Attorney’s office, Ms. Nagala has concentrated on hate crimes and crimes relating to human trafficking and child exploitation; she serves as the U.S. Attorney’s Office Hate Crimes Coordinator, Human Trafficking Coordinator and on the Connecticut Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Subcommittee. Ms. Nagala worked as a law clerk to Judge Susan Graber of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her Juris Doctor from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

Judge Omar Williams has served as a Judge on the Connecticut Superior Court since 2014. After first gaining experience defending indigent clients while participating in a criminal trial clinic as a law student, Judge Williams spent eleven years working as a public defender in New Haven. Judge Williams received his undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and his Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law.