RELEASE: Fact Sheets Show Troubling Lack of Diversity Among Federal Judges

Washington, D.C. — Following up on a report from earlier this month that revealed a troubling lack of diversity among federal judges, today the Center for American Progress issued a series of fact sheets that show how African Americans, Asian Americans, Latin Americans, women, and LGBTQ Americans are underrepresented on the federal bench.

The series builds on CAP’s previous report by providing new data on the diversity of district and circuit court judges. Federal judges wield immense power, rendering decisions that affect people’s livelihoods, well-being, and fundamental rights. But this power is largely held by individuals who do not reflect the diversity of American society.

Overall, CAP found that 80 percent of all sitting federal judges in the nation are white and that 73 percent are male, compared with a U.S. population that is only 60 percent white and slightly less than 50 percent male.

Among the findings:

  • African Americans comprise just 9.9 percent of sitting judges and roughly 13 percent of active judges on the federal bench.
  • Latinx people comprise just 6.6 percent of sitting judges and 9 percent of active judges on the federal bench.
  • Asian Americans comprise just 2.6 percent of sitting judges and 4 percent of active judges on the federal bench.
  • Women comprise only approximately 27 percent of sitting judges and 33 percent of active judges on the federal bench.
  • Those who self-identify as LGBTQ comprise fewer than 1 percent of sitting judges and only about 1.4 percent of active judges on the federal bench.

Read the fact sheets:

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at or 202-478-6327.