Biden taps ex-DOJ environment lawyer to be federal judge

By Pamela King | 06/12/2024 01:16 PM EDT

Noël Wise also served as in-house counsel for Pacific Gas & Electric.


President Joe Biden has selected an attorney with environmental experience to serve as a federal judge in California. Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/Air Force

President Joe Biden on Wednesday selected a former Justice Department environment attorney and in-house counsel for a major electric company to serve as a federal judge in California.

If she is confirmed, Noël Wise, who has been a California state judge since 2014, would fill an opening on the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California.

The court hears many lawsuits filed by green groups and Democratic states over federal environment and energy policies. Wise would bring some subject matter expertise to some of those cases: From 2004 to 2006, she was in-house counsel for Pacific Gas & Electric, and from 1994 to 2002, she was a trial attorney in DOJ’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division.


With over 400 attorneys on staff and offices across the country, ENRD bills itself as the nation’s largest environmental law firm, filing and defending cases related to federal pollution controls.