US Senate confirms Phoenix election attorney to 9th Circuit

August 4, 2022 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed a prominent Arizona election attorney for a position as a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Roopali Desai was confirmed Thursday on a 67-29 vote, drawing bipartisan support after Arizona’s two Democratic senators, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, touted her when President Joe Biden nominated her in June.

Desai has been at the center of virtually every major election case in Arizona in recent years representing various arms of the Democratic Party, Democratic candidates and left-leaning interest groups.

She also represented Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in cases filed by supporters of former President Donald Trump challenging the 2020 election results.

Sinema took credit for “personally” ensuring that Desai’s nomination was swiftly confirmed in just two months.

“Ms. Desai is known and respected for her integrity, fairness, and wealth of legal knowledge, and I’m delighted to secure the broad bipartisan votes for her confirmation,” sinema said in a statement. “As a judge, Ms. Desai will make Arizona and America proud.”

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Desai has been a partner at the Phoenix firm Coppersmith Brockelman and has practiced law there since 2007. She worked briefly as an associate at Lewis & Roca and was a law clerk for then-Chief Judge Mary Schroeder of the 9th Circuit. She has bachelors, masters in public health and law degrees from University of Arizona.

The 9th Circuit is based in San Francisco but Desai will maintain chambers in Phoenix. The court handles federal appeals in nine Western states.