FIRST ON FOX: One of President Biden’s latest judicial nominees serves on the board of a group that backed calls to defund the police and has called to abolish prisons. 

Biden nominated Roopali Desai, a litigation partner at the law firm Coppersmith Brockelman, to the 9th Circuit Appeals Court bench last month.

Desai serves on the board of Just Communities Arizona (JCA), a self-described "abolitionist organization" that envisions "a world in which prisons and jails are unnecessary." 


Roopali Desai

Biden judicial nominee Roopali Desai sits on the board of a group seeking to abolish prisons.  (Screenshot/C-SPAN)

The organization has taken several radical stances on the criminal justice system, including claiming that "the criminal punishment system isn't really about justice" and mourning Arizona’s execution of Frank Atwood last month.

Atwood was convicted in 1987 of raping and murdering 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson prior to disposing of her body in the Arizona desert northwest of Tuscon.

"The state of Arizona has executed Frank Atwood," a black graphic featuring a lit candle published by the organization on Facebook read. "Please take a moment to send Light to Frank Atwood, his family and friends, and all those who suffer under Arizona’s punishment system (including those who are employed by it."

JCA was formerly known as the Arizona chapter of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), changing its name in January of this year.

AFSC's national arm supports defunding the police and called the American criminal justice system "a racist system that disproportionately targets people of color" during the George Floyd riots. AFSC-Arizona co-signed a statement from the national arm that called to divert resources "away from the police forces that occupy our communities." 

AFSC also supported abolishing prisons as well as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel backed by several terrorist organizations.

Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y. has confirmed 69 of Biden's judicial nominees since the president took office.  (Elizabeth Frantz/Pool via AP)

"Roopali Desai’s disturbing record makes her unfit to serve in the federal judiciary," Article III Project founder and president Mike Davis told Fox News Digital. "Desai has spent her professional career championing a radical left-wing agenda."

"She helped lead an organization that supports abolishing prisons and defunding police. Desai also partnered with teachers’ unions to indoctrinate our children with Critical Race Theory," Davis said. "Her position as a board member of the Arizona ACLU and time spent working as an attorney for Planned Parenthood expose her for what she is – a far-left activist driven by a dangerous ideology."

"Given the revelations brought to light by the Article III Project, Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly should be ashamed of their support for Roopali Desai," he continued. "As Arizona’s home state senators, they have a responsibility to lead the fight against the nomination of such a radical, unqualified person, not blindly cheerlead for an extremist who doesn't represent the values of their state."

Davis added that since "Sinema and Kelly refuse to do their jobs, President Biden should immediately withdraw Roopali Desai’s nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals."

Desai, who has also worked as an attorney for Planned Parenthood, filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of a teacher’s union and its allies challenging Arizona’s ban on teaching the controversial subject in K-12 classrooms.

Desai’s nomination follows a trend by the president of nominating controversial progressives for judicial and administrative positions.

Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have been sprinting to fill bench vacancies with nominees — a la how the Democrat leader’s foil did under former President Trump — before a midterm election that may see the 50/50 Senate go red.

So far, Schumer has been outpacing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in judicial confirmations, having placed 69 new judges on the bench since Biden took office.

Republicans, so far this term, have forced Democrats to call cloture votes on every single one of Biden's 69 nominees. Democrats, at this point in Trump's term, only forced cloture votes on two of Trump's 42 appointments, though they later made that standard practice for nearly all of Trump's picks.


But in a world in which the judicial filibuster is a thing of the past, Republicans' nearly uniform resistance to Biden's nominees isn't truly slowing Senate Democrats down. Nevertheless, they'll have their work cut out for them to catch Trump's 234 total federal judges appointed during his term. The former president picked up his pace during his final two years.

Neither the White House nor Desai immediately responded to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Tyler Olson contributed reporting.