Groundbreaking: Nearly Half of All Senate Federal Judicial Nominees Are Women of Color

by Xara Aziz

Nearly 50 percent of the 90 confirmed federal judicial nominees who have been called to the bench last week are women of color, a historical feat in ensuring the courts are equally balanced.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck (D-N.Y.) said during a speech on the Senate floor that he was confident “a more diverse bench will go a long way in cultivating trust in our courts and in our democracy,” adding that “these appointments are critical: Even though a conservative majority presides on the Supreme Court, the bulk of all federal cases are still resolved by circuit court judges.”  

The Democrat-controlled Senate has yet to finalize its confirmed judges to the federal courts but reports indicate that it is on track to confirm more judges than the first two years of Barack Obama’s and Donald Trump’s administrations, Schumer explained.

The Senate confirmed Doris Pryor as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the 7th Circuit last Monday. She will be responsible for covering cases from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin and is the first woman of color from Indiana to join that court.

“One judge at a time, the Senate continues fulfilling its mission of making sure our courts reflect the diversity and dynamism of America,” Schumer said.

The following day, the Senate confirmed Frances Kay Behm for District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and Kelley Brisbon Hodge for District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as its 89th and 90th nominees called to the bench.

“Today our federal judiciary is far more balanced, far more diverse, far more experienced than the one our country had two years ago. It’s something we’re very proud of,” Schumer added.

But probably the most watershed moment of the year was the swearing in of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is the first Black woman confirmed to the Supreme Court.

“You can rest assured, Mr. President, that Senate Democrats are going to maintain this priority on judges as the 118th Congress begins next year,” Schumer concluded.

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