More Progress Needed in Professional Diversity of Judicial Nominations

Press Release

Press Contact

Carolyn Bobb

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 9, 2022 – Today the White House announced its latest slate of nominees to the federal courts, which consisted of two circuit court nominees. 

Judge DeAndrea Benjamin, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, currently serves on South Carolina’s Fifth Judicial Circuit, having first been elected to that court in 2011. She previously served on the City of Columbia Municipal Court while her private practice focused on family law cases. As a Black woman, Judge Benjamin will bring important diversity to a court whose sitting judges are 79% white but who preside over states whose population is 35% people of color. 

Jabari Wamble, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Kansas City, Kansas since 2011. He previously served as Assistant Attorney General in Kansas, where his focus was prosecuting cases related to Medicaid fraud and elder abuse. As a Black man, Wamble will bring important diversity to a court whose sitting judges are 91% white. 

Alliance for Justice Legal Director for Federal Courts Kimberly Humphrey issued the following statement: 

“President Biden has been exceptional at appointing people of color to a federal bench that is still overwhelmingly white, and that trend continues with these two nominees. Unfortunately, former prosecutors are also overrepresented among our federal judges, and this slate is a missed opportunity to add more professional diversity to our courts. As a recent Alliance for Justice report noted, judges with experience representing workers and consumers or providing civil legal aid are woefully missing from our judicial system. Our federal bench desperately needs more judges who have advocated on behalf of everyday Americans, not just the wealthy and powerful. We hope to see a more concerted effort in nominating judges from these backgrounds in future slates.” 

Click here to read Alliance for Justice’s report, Economic Justice, Judges, and the Law.