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STATEMENT: Biden’s Judicial Nominees Show Commitment to Diversifying the Federal Bench

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Joe Biden announced his first slate of judicial nominees to fill vacancies on the federal courts. In response, Maggie Jo Buchanan, director of Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This group of highly-qualified nominees reflects the administration’s strong commitment to diversifying the bench and ensures that the judiciary is more representative of—and responsive to—the people it serves.

Currently, only about a third of active federal judges are women, and just 10 percent of judges are women of color. Furthermore, public defenders are severely underrepresented on the bench, resulting in a lack of that important perspective far too often in judicial decision-making.

It is clear that the administration is focused on improving this state of affairs. Most of these nominees are women, including the three Black women nominated for vacant appellate seats. The list also includes several Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) nominees, including one who would be the first AAPI woman to ever serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition, four of the nominees have significant experience as public defenders, demonstrating an unprecedented new dedication to bringing much-needed professional diversity to the federal bench as well.

While there is much additional work to be done, the Senate should begin by acting swiftly to confirm this eminently qualified and groundbreaking slate of nominees.

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