Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Obama Appoints Mostly Women, Minorities to Federal Bench

According to Sheldon Goldman, author of the authoritative book "Picking Federal Judges,"  President Obama has picked more female and minority judges for the federal bench than any other President in United States history.  With over 70% of President Obama's appointments being non-white as compared to Presidents Clinton and Bush (43), such a feat was part of the administration's commmitment to diversify the federal bench.

With the confirmation of Justice Elena Kagan, President Obama has put three women on the high court for the first time. The Obama administration also nominated and won confirmation of the first openly gay man to a federal judgeship: former Clinton administration official J. Paul Oetken, to an opening in New York City.

Of the 98 Obama nominees confirmed to date, the administration says 21 percent are African-American, 11 percent are Hispanic, 7 percent are Asian-American and almost half — 47 percent — are women. By comparison, of the 322 judges confirmed during George W. Bush's presidency, 18 percent were minorities and 22 percent were female. Of the 372 judges confirmed during Clinton's terms, 25 percent were minorities and 29 percent were women. In these figures, some judges fit into more than one category.

Recently, the Senate confirmed the first African-American woman to sit on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Bernice Donald. Earlier, she was the first African-American woman elected as a judge in Tennessee, the first appointed as federal bankruptcy judge in the nation and first confirmed as a U.S. district judge in Tennessee.

No comments: