On Dec. 18, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s 40th federal judicial nominee just in time for the holiday season–ushering in a new milestone for the administration.
The New York Times noted that Biden has officially confirmed the most judges during a president’s first year in the last 40 years. As the president and White House officials gear up to take off for the holidays, lawmakers swiftly confirmed ten more district court judges. The news comes as Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pledged to diversify the judiciary process with candidates from different ethnic backgrounds and a bevy of professional experience.
“Because of the commitment to restoring the federal judiciary by President Biden and Senate Democrats,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. “It is no longer a bench that is simply prosecutors, partners in large law firms — but rather many, many others from walks of life with different and needed perspectives on the federal bench, such as public defenders, civil rights lawyers, election experts, and more,” he added.
Some of the nominees chosen are making history this year. According to the White House’s website, Biden has chosen “three African American women” for Circuit Court vacancies, including the former sentencing commissioner, Kentaji Brown Jackson, and Judge Tiffany Cunningham.
The diverse roster also includes “the first AAPI woman to ever serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C., and the first woman of color to ever serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland.” Back in June, Zahid Quraish became the first Muslim American federal judge under Biden’s legislative plea.
“These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” the White House added in their official statement.
According to CNN, the president’s judiciary selections include 53 women who now make up nearly “73 percent of all judicial nominees, as well as 20 African Americans, 15 Hispanics, and 13 Asian American Pacific Islander picks.”
During Donald Trump’s term, the Senate confirmed 18 circuit and district court judges in his first year in office. Twelve were confirmed during President Barack Obama‘s inaugural year. The move comes as a win for The Biden Administration after their attempt to pass the president’s social safety spending bill and climate change plan was delayed.