WASHINGTON (AP) — For the Biden White House, Colorado’s quartet of four female judges encapsulates its mission when it comes to federal justice.
Charlotte Sweeney, the first openly LGBT woman to serve in a federal courthouse west of the Mississippi, has a background in labor rights. Nina Wang, an immigrant from Taiwan, is the first magistrate in a state to be elevated to a federal district seat.
Latino and Asian American, Regina Rodriguez worked for a US law firm. Veronica Rothman, who came from the former Soviet Union as a refugee with her family, became the first former federal public defender to serve on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
With These Four Women Confirmed During The First Two Years Of President Joe Biden’s Presidencythe breadth of personal and professional diversity that the White House and Democratic senators have driven judicial transformation.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein told the Associated Press: “The appointment sends a powerful message to the legal community that this kind of public service is opening up to many people who weren’t previously open to it. “What I can say to the general public is that if you end up in federal court for any reason, there’s a much better chance you’ll have a judge who understands where you came from, who you are, and what you’ve been through.” That’s it.”
“Having a more diverse federal court in all respects shows respect for the American people,” Crane said.
The White House and Democratic senators are closing out Biden’s first two years in office, installing more federal judges than Biden’s two predecessors.A quick clip reflects enthusiasm To offset Donald Trump’s legacy in racial diversity.
So far, 97 federal judges for life have been confirmed At this point, the numbers under Biden are ahead of both Trump (85) and Barack Obama (62), according to data from the White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. DY Biden’s 97 of him include Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, The first black woman on that court, and 28 circuit court judges and 68 district court judges.
Three out of four of Biden’s confirmed Senate justices in the past two years have been women. About two-thirds were people of color. Biden’s list includes his 11 black women on the powerful circuit court, more than appointees under all previous presidents combined. He also has 11 former public defenders appointed to the circuit court, more than all of Biden’s predecessors combined.
“This is the story of writing a new chapter in federal justice, with truly extraordinary people representing the widest possible variety of species.said Paige Harwig, a senior White House adviser.
Your browser is
iframe HTML tag. Try viewing this in a modern browser such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9 or newer.
From the outset, the White House prioritized judicial nominations, with Biden transition officials soliciting names from Democratic senators for the nomination in late 2020. Reserve floor time for voting.
A particular focus was on candidates for the Court of Appeals, where the majority of federal lawsuits have ended, and candidates from states that have two Democratic senators, and who have great respect for their home state officials. Candidates who can find consensus easier in the process.
Democrats hope to speed up the pace of confirmation next year, a goal that will be more easily met with a 51-49 Senate winning a narrow majority on committees. Voting for some of the popular judicial candidates has required more procedural steps that have stalled committee votes and eaten up valuable floor time in the Senate.
After Republican senators introduced rule changes that drastically shortened the time required to process district court candidates, Republicans significantly sped up the pace of approvals during Trump’s final two years in office. rice field.
Schumer also said he wanted more judges to fill the appeals court, which has shifted to the right under Trump.
“Trump has stuffed the bench with far-right ‘MAGA’ type judges who are not only out of step with the American people, they are not even in line with the Republican Party. The slogan is ‘Make America Great Again.’
Schumer added: My mission was to try to restore that balance. ”
Despite having limited power to actually block Biden’s judicial election, some Republicans say their views are out of the legal mainstream, despite Democrats’ assertions. and fought ferociously against many of them. A shaky 50-50 Senate, where Schumer’s plans were often thwarted by illness or absence, meant that several Biden candidates languished for months and weren’t confirmed before the Senate finished its year’s work. Did.
Democrats also say certain judicial candidates, especially women of color, have been unfairly targeted by Republican critics, leading to tense battles on the Judiciary Committee.
“Republicans have a problem with this. Not all of them, but some,” Durbin said in an interview. Are women of color always the target of their anger?’ And they can’t answer.”
Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a member of the committee, said Biden’s nomination was “very, very left-wing, but so without apology.” He said Durbin’s claims about Republicans were “ridiculous.”
“The president has taken it upon himself to make people who share a very left-wing worldview, which is generally very critical of the criminal justice system, for example, think it is systemically racist. I think we made a promise to the foundation,” Holley said.
Despite a strengthened Democratic majority, the White House could face some challenges over the next two years with regard to nominating and confirming judges.
For example, in states with two Republican senators, the number of district court judge vacancies was slightly reduced by Biden, and only one such person was identified. My name is Stephen Rocher, and I am currently a judge for the Southern District of Iowa. Senators still adhere to the practice of allowing their home state senators to effectively veto district court nominations, a process colloquially known as the “blue slip.” increase. For obstruction of the Republican Party.
For example, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin earlier this year blocked action against William Pocan, the nominee for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Durbin said he would reconsider current “blueslip” practices if he sees systematic abuse by senators, especially based on a candidate’s race, gender, or sexual orientation.
But Durbin said cases like Pocan’s are rare, and other influential Republicans have some respect for the Biden White House when it comes to judges.
“I can’t imagine a system where Republicans get all the judges and Democrats can’t get any judges,” said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who will be the Republican head of the Judiciary Committee next year. rice field. “It’s not a viable system.”
One issue Biden has not actively addressed is the structure of the Supreme Court.
The move to change the country’s Supreme Court, even in small ways, has found little foothold in the White House, and instead Biden’s aides are seeking the best and most efficient way to secure the Democratic Party’s legacy. Emphasizes the president’s move to appoint federal judges as the most substantive way.Judiciary.
Once Biden takes office in 2021, calls for Supreme Court changes grow After Trump appointed three new judges, he tilted the court structure to the right.
In June, a 6-3 conservative majority overturned a landmark decision, Roe v. Wade., abolished constitutional protections against abortion that had existed for nearly 50 years. In the United States, they did so even though the majority of people believed that abortion should be legal. suppressed the ability of
Polls show declining support and respect for the courts. A Gallup poll found that Americans trust the courts at their lowest level in 50 years.
Biden has spoken out about the verdict, claiming the courts have become something of a “modern advocacy group.” But he has not even accepted calls to expand the courtroom or impose a code of conduct on the judge that binds other federal judges. He has not spoken publicly about a study he commissioned that ended last year on the future of the Supreme Court.
Even though those advocating for change believe the pressure will be stronger this term as voting rights, clean water, immigration and student loan forgiveness come before judges, White House officials have similarly It declined to comment on potential changes.
“I would never underestimate the progress and importance of what President Biden is doing in the lower courts,” said Chris Kang of Demand Justice, an advocacy group pushing for court expansion. “But at the same time, we need to look at the core issues of the Supreme Court and what can be done to resolve them.”
For now, the focus of the White House is Remains on those sitting in the coat.
It’s a particularly meaningful achievement for Biden, the former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Klein, who was Biden’s lead counsel on that committee and the attorney who worked on judicial nominations in the Clinton White House.
“With all due respect to my predecessor, I’m sure this is a higher priority for me,” said Klein, who meets weekly with the judicial nomination team. added like