How Biden Is Reshaping The Courts

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY SCHERER / GETTY IMAGES When former President Donald Trump left office in January, one of the most formidable aspects of his legacy w…

12/8/2021 3:13:00 AM

Almost half of the 61 judges Pres. Biden has nominated to the lower courts have been confirmed—a larger share than former Presidents Trump or Obama. Perhaps even more significantly, Biden has delivered on his promise of diversity in a big way:

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY SCHERER / GETTY IMAGES When former President Donald Trump left office in January, one of the most formidable aspects of his legacy w…

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EMILY SCHERER / GETTY IMAGESWhen former President Donald Trump left office in January, one of the most formidable aspects of his legacy was his imprint on the federal courts. In Trump’s four years in the White House, he appointed three Supreme Court justices, 54 appeals court judges and 174 district court judges, filling the judiciary with

a raft of conservatives who were mostly white men.Rebalancing the courts was always going to be a challenge for President Biden. When he took over, 30 percent of active federal judges had been appointed by Trump. He also had just 49 federal court vacancies to fill at that point — less than half the number that Trump started with. But Biden campaigned on offsetting Trump’s conservative stamp by

nominating judges from diverse backgrounds, and he’s gotten more judicial nominees confirmed through the Senate than any president at this point in his first term in decades. Almost half of the 61 judges he’s nominated to the lower courts have been confirmed — a larger share than Trump or former President Barack Obama — although there’s been far less consensus in the Senate about Biden’s picks. headtopics.com

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But perhaps even more significantly, Biden has delivered on his promise of diversity in a big way. According to our analysis, the vast majority of the judges who have been confirmed under his presidency are women or people of color. And the judges he’s named to the courts also have nontraditional professional backgrounds. They’re more likely than past crops of judges to come from fields like advocacy and academia, and more likely to have worked as public defenders than as prosecutors.

Biden’s appointees aren’t diverse on every metric, though. We found that his judges are more likely to have attended the country’s most prestigious universities and law schools than judges appointed by past presidents. That turn to the elite is especially noteworthy, given that

Biden’s ticket was the first Democratic ticket since 1984to feature two candidates who didn’t graduate from an Ivy League school.The impact of all of these appointments on the judiciary is also complicated to assess, because most of Biden’s appointees have been named to seats in blue states,

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1and therefore are largely replacing other Democratic appointees. That doesn’t mean they won’t affect the courts, though — having more judges who are women, people of color and former public defenders will likely make a big difference for the outcomes of their cases, particularly in criminal cases and on issues like discrimination and voting rights. headtopics.com

Biden’s judges are breaking records on diversity

Read more: ABC News »

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