Ghislaine Maxwell trial Judge Alison Nathan recommended to higher court

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Ghislaine Maxwell trial Judge Alison Nathan recommended to higher court

The judge in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial may be moving up to a federal appeals court, adding yet more uncertainty to the high-profile case.

US District Judge Alison J. Nathan will be recommended for an appointment to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday.

It’s not clear how the new role would affect the trial of Maxwell, the longtime friend and alleged madam of Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of helping him groom and procure girls for him to sexually abuse.

“Ali Nathan is an outstanding judge for the Southern District of New York and her experience, legal brilliance, love of the rule of law and perspective would be invaluable in ensuring the federal judiciary fulfills its obligation to ensure equal justice for all,” Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement.

In 2011, Schumer had recommended Nathan for her current job in New York City, as a judge in the Southern District of New York.

Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell is accused of helping Jeffrey Epstein groom and procure girls for him to sexually abuse.
United Nations Photo/Rick Bajornas via AP

“I am confident Alison Nathan, a deeply respected legal leader, would follow the facts and administer justice without fear or favor and will greatly help restore integrity and professionalism to the federal court,” Schumer said.

President Joe Biden is likely to back up the recommendation of the Senate Democratic leader, and then Nathan would have to be OK’d for the appeals court by the Senate. That process could overlap with the Maxwell trial, as jury selection got underway this week.

But that doesn’t mean Nathan will have to replaced in the trial.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, sits before U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan during a pretrial hearing, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., November 1, 2021.
This court sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s gal pal accused of sex trafficking, sitting before US District Judge Alison J. Nathan during a pretrial hearing on Nov. 1, 2021.
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg/File Photo

A spokesman for the district court wouldn’t confirm Nathan’s consideration for the role, but told the New York Times, but said he believed Nathan would “continue to do her day job and preside over the trial to its conclusion.”

The move from one court to a higher court is routine, the Times noted.

Nathan would be the second openly gay woman to serve as an appeals judge, according to Schumer’s office. She previously served as special counsel to the solicitor general of New York State, part of the Attorney General’s Office.

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