: Rep. Butterfield on Judicial Elections and Diversity on the Bench
Please join the Center for American Progress for a discussion of diversity on the bench and obstacles that judges of color face in judicial elections.
The panel will include discussion of a report from the Center for American Progress’ Legal Progress that examines the success rates of all incumbent justices running for re-election since 2000. White incumbents had a 90 percent re-election rate, compared with 80 percent for black justices. Latino justices had a mere 66 percent re-election rate.
These disparities raise alarming questions about how judicial elections affect diversity on the bench. In many states, diverse justices were appointed to the bench, only to lose their seats in the next election. The report advocates reforms that could help foster diversity on the bench, such as public financing for judicial campaigns and programs that would expand the pipeline of diverse lawyers who could become judges.
Angela Maria Kelley, Senior Vice President, Center for American Progress
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Member of Congress, North Carolina’s 1st District
Kate Berry, Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice
Steven C. González, Justice, Washington State Supreme Court
Pema Levy, Reporter, Mother Jones
Yvette McGee Brown, former Justice, Ohio Supreme Court; Partner-in-Charge of Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement, Jones Day
Michele L. Jawando, Vice President, Legal Progress, Center for American Progress