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Federal Judiciary Receiving Shot of Diversity Under Obama

Via National Public Radio, I came across this report that documents the extent to which President Barack Obama has attempted to diversify the federal courts with his judicial nominations, and the string of "firsts" that has also resulted. NPR notes that Obama has appointed the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court, the first openly gay man on a federal district court, and the first women nominees who are Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told NPR that diversity is a clear priority for Obama, who pledged during his campaign to have the federal judiciary of almost 900 judges -- mostly white men -- start to look more like the full mix of people in the United States. Ruemmler said that racial diversity, gender diversity and "experiential" diversity were all important factors in determining the best candidates.

To date, 97 Obama nominees have been confirmed as federal judges. According to Wikipedia, this includes the two new female Supreme Court Justices (Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan), and 19 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, including seven women. Fifty-five additional nominations are now awaiting confirmation by the Senate.

NPR reports that about half of those confirmed are women and about a quarter are black. In addition, Obama has reportedly nominated four openly gay people and doubled the number of Asian-American judges.

Posted by Bruce Carton on August 5, 2011 at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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