The United States Senate today confirmed Judge Elizabeth Hanes as a District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. Her confirmation brings the total of Biden-nominated judges to 75.
Judge Hanes was born in 1978 in Roanoke, Virginia. She earned her B.A. from the University of Richmond, graduating summa cum laude in 2000. After graduation, Judge Hanes worked in corporate finance for Liz Claiborne, a fashion company. Judge Hanes left her position to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in West Virginia where she helped establish a nonprofit which provided services to abused children and crime victims. Afterwards, Judge Hanes attended Richmond Law where she graduated summa cum laude and was an Executive Board Member of the Law Review.
Following law school, Judge Hanes clerked at both the trial court and appellate court level. From 2007-2008, she clerked for Hon. Joseph R. Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia. From 2008-2009, she clerked for Hon. Robert B. King in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Both judges were nominated by President Bill Clinton. Biden nominated Hanes to the Court on May 19, 2022.
“The judicial system is so important to people and to businesses,” she has said. “It allows them to obtain relief or adjudicate a dispute, and [a case] can be … one of the most important events that occurs in someone’s life. And so to be able to participate in that process — and to ensure that all the participants feel that it was fair and that they were heard and that they had their day in court — is very meaningful to me.”
She has heard and ruled favorably on cases involving constitutional rights, disability rights, and worker’s rights.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is one of 94 United States district courts. It is one of two federal district courts serving the commonwealth of Virginia. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit based in downtown Richmond, Virginia, at the Lewis F. Powell Federal Courthouse.