President Joe Biden speaks to a worker as he views a new roof under construction at Portland International Airport in Oregon on April 21, 2022.
CNN  — 

President Joe Biden on Friday announced five new nominees for US attorney positions in Illinois, Idaho, Pennsylvania and California, along with three more nominees to serve as US Marshals.

Biden is nominating Rachelle Crowe for the Southern District of Illinois, Joshua Hurwit for the District of Idaho, Gerard Karam for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Jacqueline Romero for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Phillip Talbert for the Eastern District of California.

“These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said in a statement.

Biden now has 48 US attorney and five US Marshal nominees awaiting confirmation by the US Senate. More than a third of the 80 US attorney candidates nominated by Biden since he took office have been confirmed, according to an administration official.

Crowe is an Illinois state senator and a former prosecutor for the Madison County State’s Attorney office. Hurwit and Romero have been serving as assistant US attorneys in the respective offices they were tapped to lead. Karam is currently in private practice, handling criminal defense cases, and is a former public defender. Talbert has been serving as the attorney general-appointed US attorney for the Eastern District of California since December.

The nominees will have to be cleared by the Senate Judiciary Committee before being confirmed by the full chamber.

As the chief federal prosecutors, the 93 US attorneys – assigned by judicial districts – initiate investigations, decide charges and steer federal enforcement priorities.

As violent crime rises in the US, Biden has called for more police funding and pledged to focus on reducing gun violence, efforts highlighted by the White House in Friday’s announcement.

“The President has also launched a comprehensive effort to take on the uptick in gun crime that has been taking place since 2020 – putting more cops on the beat, supporting community prevention programs, and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. Confirming US attorneys as the chief federal law enforcement officers in their district is important for these efforts,” a White House spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Democrats are also scrambling to confirm Biden’s nominees for federal judgships ahead of November, when they run the risk of losing control of the Senate in the midterm elections.