Biden’s 2023 Judicial Appointees Mark New Era for Diversity in Courts - Alliance for Justice

Biden’s 2023 Judicial Appointees Mark New Era for Diversity in Courts


Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza

This excerpt is from a piece by Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza that originally ran in Ms. Magazine on February 21, 2024.

It wasn’t always obvious in the moment, but one month into the new year, it’s clearer than ever how extraordinary the Biden administration and Senate allies’ 2023 accomplishments were when it comes to the judiciary. Democrats, led by Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Senator Dick Durbin (Ill.), confirmed 166 judges by 2023’s end—about two-thirds of whom are women.

Alliance for Justice’s new report, “Courting Change: 2023 Momentum for Movement Law,” breaks down Biden’s nominations and confirmations in terms of both professional and demographic diversity. In 2023 alone, the administration appointed eight public defenders, 13 civil rights lawyers, two labor lawyers and seven plaintiff-side lawyers. That means that from the time Biden took office through the end of last year, the administration appointed a total of 37 public defenders, 25 civil rights lawyers, three labor lawyers, and 17 plaintiff-side lawyers to the federal bench.

Black History Month is also a good time to recognize the Biden administration’s outstanding record in appointing Black jurists. As of Feb. 1, the Biden administration had appointed 56 Black judges to the federal judiciary. That’s more than any other president in American history in a single term and almost as many as President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama appointed over two terms—just 62 Black judges each.

Only two years ago, Pew observed that only 70 of the 3,843 people confirmed as federal judges in the United States were Black women—fewer than 2 percent.

Read the complete piece.