Federal Judge Maryellen Noreika is in the news for raising questions about the plea bargain granted to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. That has a lot of people wondering about Noreika’s politics and whether she is a Republican or Democrat.
According to the court website, Noreika was appointed to be a federal judge on August 10, 2018, and she serves out of the Wilmington, Delaware, courthouse.
Previously a private attorney, Noreika was nominated to the federal bench by former Republican President Donald Trump, according to Ballotpedia.
However, according to a press release from Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons, Noreika was recommended by both of the state’s Democratic senators. She has donated to both Democrats and Republicans, federal records show.
Here’s what you need to know:
Delaware’s Democratic United States Senators Called Maryellen Noreika a Highly-Respected, Sought-After Attorney
Coons wrote in the press release that Noreika and a second nominee “were recommended by U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) for judgeships on the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.”
“Delaware’s courts are renowned for their judges’ expertise. Maryellen Noreika and Colm Connolly are two highly-respected, sought-after attorneys who have displayed a vast knowledge of the law and a thorough understanding of the courts during their extensive careers working in the Delaware judicial system,” said Carper in the news release. “Now that the White House has put forth their nominees, I hope we can swiftly move through the Senate confirmation process so that Delaware’s courts are running at full strength once again.”
“I’m pleased that the White House consulted with Senator Carper and me and accepted our recommendations for the U.S. District Court bench. I am also grateful for our Judicial Nominating Committee’s hard work in evaluating several excellent candidates,” said Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in the news release. “Colm Connolly and Maryellen Noreika are seasoned attorneys, with impressive trial skills, deep experience in federal practice, and profound respect for the law. I am confident that they will both be capable jurists, and I look forward to their confirmation hearings.”
According to that news release:
She began her career litigating corporate and commercial disputes, and later focused on intellectual property matters and complex litigation in federal courts. Ms. Noreika has been appointed to multiple advisory committees assisting the court and has served as a mentor for young attorneys in a federal judges training program. She has a B.S. in Biology from Lehigh University, an M.S. in Biology from Colombia University and a J.D. from University of Pittsburgh.
Noreika previously worked as an attorney for Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP in Wilmington, Delaware, Ballotpedia reports. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a voice vote, according to Senate records.
Maryellen Noreika Has Made Campaign Contributions to Both Republican & Democratic Candidates
According to the Federal Election Commission, Noreika made campaign donations to both Republican and Democratic politicians.
For example, she donated multiple times to Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican. She gave money to the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney, John McCain and Hillary Clinton, as well as to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, FEC records show. She also donated to Republican Rick Santorum’s campaign, records show.
According to the Federal Judicial Center, Noreika received a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University in 1988, a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1990, and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1993.
During her nomination process, she was asked questions like, “Do you believe that there are racial disparities in our criminal justice system? If so, please provide specific examples. If not, please explain why not.”
I have not conducted sufficient research or investigation to assess the prevalence of racial disparities today, but I have seen statistics indicating that such disparities exist, e.g., in rates of incarceration in state prisons. If confirmed, I will undertake whatever steps I can to ensure that everyone who comes into my courtroom is treated fairly and equally.
She previously ruled that “a defamation lawsuit Hunter Biden’s laptop repairman filed against CNN” could proceed, but threw out his suit against Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, CBS News reported.
A 2014 obituary for her father, Alexander Noreika, a physicist, did not list a husband for Maryellen Noreika.