President Biden recently announced a slate of ten judicial nominees to serve as Federal Circuit and District Court judges and one nominee to serve as a Superior Court Judge for the District of Columbia. If confirmed by the Senate, the selected White House nominees will represent an unprecedented level of diversity, including three Black women, the first Muslim-American woman, and the first AAPI woman to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C.
“As the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) continues to highlight and address the lack of diversity and inclusion in the judiciary, we must acknowledge that we have much work to do,” said CBC Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03). “ Judges make critically important decisions that affect all Americans every day. As we have seen over the past several years, it is imperative that these jurists reflect the rich diversity of the American people. The lack of diversity in our Judicial Branch can be seen as attributing to the gross disparities that we know exist within our court system, especially when we talk about the ways Black people and other communities of color are treated. Appointing diverse judges is an important step in addressing these disparities.”
The CBC has taken a leadership role in advocating for diverse appointments by the Biden Administration, with a special emphasis on addressing glaring deficiencies in the American judicial system. Currently, on the Seventh Circuit in the heart of the Midwest, there are no Black judges, and on the Eighth Circuit, there is only one woman out of fifteen active judges. Strikingly, there has never been an Indigenous judge on any court of appeals in the United States. Additionally, the Courts are bereft of legal aid, consumer plaintiffs, public defenders, and civil rights lawyers, all of whom would help diversify the judgment and experience essential to ensuring that each person has their day in court.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee offered the following statement: “Unlike the previous Administration, which systematically excluded people of color and women from judicial positions, President Biden has put forth legally excellent and qualified judicial nominees who reflect the full diversity of the American people. I fully support these groundbreaking selections, each of whom has worked tirelessly to pursue equal justice before the law and with a high degree of legal prowess. We look forward to helping move their confirmations along!”
Congressman G.K. Butterfield, former CBC Chair and a former Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, offered the following statement: “President Biden’s announcement that he intends to nominate eleven federal judges, nine of which are women, is nothing less than unprecedented. Included in the list of federal judge nominees are four African American women to serve as judges. Three of the African American women, if confirmed, will serve on various Circuit Courts of Appeal which, are the highest courts in the country for most appellate cases. I am confident that the President will continue his determined efforts to make the federal judiciary look like America.”
The Congressional Black Caucus will continue to work closely with the Biden Administration’s judicial nomination process and looks forward to continuing the fight for diversity and inclusion in our federal judiciary.