Senate confirms new judge Orelia Merchant to the EDNY bench in Brooklyn

May 5, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Orelia Merchant was confirmed by the Senate to serve as a District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Senator Charles Schumer announced on Wednesday.

Orelia Merchant was confirmed by the Senate to become the next judge of the Eastern District of New York. Photo: Brooklyn Eagle/Rob Abruzzese.

“Orelia Merchant, my fellow Brooklynite, brings extensive judicial and leadership experience to the table,” Schumer said. “As Chief Deputy Attorney General in New York, she is responsible for managing 8,000 active cases and 250 attorneys in prosecution and defense of actions and complex cases in state and federal court. She brings professionalism and integrity with her every day in her work, and I am proud to have championed her nomination to the EDNY bench.”

He further emphasized the importance of her confirmation, noting that “Ms. Merchant is a brilliant legal mind, and her confirmation helps ensure that the bench of the Eastern District better reflects the diversity of the people it serves. I am confident she will bring remarkable legal talent and experience, and her fervent commitment to the public good to the federal court.”

Judge Merchant had been serving as the Chief Deputy Attorney General for State Counsel and a member of the NYS Attorney General’s executive leadership team. In her role, she oversees 8,000 active cases and manages 450 employees, including 250 attorneys, in prosecution and defense of actions and complex cases in state and federal court.

Prior to that position, she served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and as Assistant Regional Counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, in Chicago, Illinois. She also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Louisiana in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions.

A graduate of Dillard University, the College of William & Mary, and Tulane University Law School, Merchant was born in the Bronx to a first-generation Jamaican American father and a mother who overcame injustice to serve in the Peace Corps and as a New York City public school teacher.


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