The 19th: First Native Hawaiian woman confirmed as federal judge
This excerpt is from a piece that originally ran on November 30, 2023.
In additional to racial diversity, the Biden administration also stands out for appointing judges from a greater variety of professional backgrounds. The president has confirmed the most federal judges to appellate courts who have previously worked as public defenders.
Most federal judges have worked as prosecutors or corporate lawyers prior to their confirmations. Legal advocates for judicial diversity say having more judges who have worked with people of color and those from different socioeconomic backgrounds will help make the judicial system more fair.
Jake Faleschini, the justice program director for the progressive legal advocacy organization Alliance for Justice, told The 19th that Democrats’ achievements on judicial diversity highlight the need for more “political will” to expand representation in multiple forms.
“It’s really exciting to see that we have so many folks from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds now eagerly serving in these positions,” Faleschini said. “They are proving to the country and to the world that they were always capable of doing it. They just weren’t given the opportunity.”