AFJ Releases New Report on the State of Judicial Nominations

Press Release

Report


Press Contact


Zack Ford
zack.ford@afj.org
(202) 464-7370

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 20, 2024 – Alliance for Justice has released its report detailing the progress of federal judicial nominations during 2023 and forecasting what can be achieved in 2024. Courting Change: 2023 Momentum for Movement Law includes in-depth statistics about the progress that the Biden administration has made in adding both professional and demographic diversity to the federal bench.

For example, in 2023, the Biden administration and Senate confirmed:

  • 8 public defenders
  • 13 civil rights lawyers
  • 2 labor lawyers
  • 7 plaintiff-side lawyers
  • 21 Black judges, including 9 Black women
  • 11 AAPI judges, including 7 AAPI women
  • 12 Latinx judges, including 7 Latinas

The report highlights specific judges who exemplify this important reshaping of the courts to better resemble the nation they serve, such as Nusrat Choudhury, a distinguished civil rights attorney who became the first Muslim woman to serve as a federal judge, and Nancy Abudu, a civil rights litigator who became the first Black woman to serve on the Eleventh Circuit.

Despite these accomplishments, the Biden administration has fallen behind the Trump administration in terms of the number of judges confirmed by this point in their terms. There are still dozens of vacancies that do not yet have a nominee, many of which are in states where a Republican senator can use the blue slip process to arbitrarily block any nominee. 2024 is thus an important year to both continue nominating and confirming judges while maintaining a commitment to high-quality judges, which are a signature accomplishment of the Biden Administration.

Alliance for Justice President Rakim H.D. Brooks issued the following statement:

“2023 was an exciting year for the future of our courts and Alliance for Justice is proud to have helped shepherd some incredible nominees across the finish line. The Biden administration, working with Senate Democratic leadership, is reshaping our courts like no administration in our nation’s history. Because of their efforts, we have more public defenders, civil rights and labor lawyers, and so much more demographic diversity. Today, people who have never faced judges with similar backgrounds or experiences will have an opportunity to meet an impartial decision-maker who understands something about the lives they lead. We see a justice system emerging that truly serves all people, not just the wealthy and powerful.

“There’s no reason to slow down now. With so much more to be done, the goal must be to fill every possible vacancy with diverse movement lawyers committed to justice for all. We look forward to seeing more highly qualified nominees from the White House and swift confirmations from the Senate. Next year’s report should have even more to celebrate for the future of our courts.”

Click here to read the full report.