Washington — President Biden reached a milestone Tuesday in efforts to put his stamp on the federal judiciary, with the Senate confirming its 100th judicial candidate.
Biden nailed it with Judge Gina Méndez-Miró’s bipartisan upper house approval for Puerto Rico’s federal district court. Mendez-Miro will make history as the first openly LGBTQ judge to serve on that court.
“As a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, strengthening the federal judiciary with extraordinarily qualified judges who are dedicated to our Constitution and the rule of law has been one of my proudest jobs in office,” Biden said in a statement commemorating the conquest. . “I am especially proud that the nominees I have presented – and the Senate has confirmed – represent the diversity that is one of our best assets as a nation and that our shared work has broken so many barriers in just two years.”
When he assumed the presidency two years ago, Mr. Biden has pledged to appoint federal judges who are diverse not only in their backgrounds but also in their professional experience, addressing a disparity in legal professionals represented on the federal bench. In US appeals courts, the president has summoned more judges with experience as a public defender than all of its predecessors combined. Additionally, 67% of the judges he has selected for the federal bench are women and 68% are black, according to the White House.
The president also helped fashion history with the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, the first black woman to serve on the superior court. Jackson was first nominated by Biden to the federal court of appeals in Washington and then to the Supreme Court. Two more Biden nominees, Florence Pan and Sarah Merriam, were confirmed first in federal district courts and then in appeals courts when vacancies became available.
Biden called his 100th judicial confirmation a “profound moment” and thanked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin and senators from both parties “for working in good faith to reach this milestone.” for our country”.
Schumer praised the Senate’s work in expanding the “diversity and dynamism of the judiciary” and confirming judges who “embody the best of our judicial system: experience, impartiality, and fidelity to the Constitution.”
“And we will continue,” he tweeted.
There are currently 87 vacancies in the US appellate courts and district courts and 46 pending candidates, according to the US courts.
Durbin said the speed with which the upper house transferred Biden’s picks to the federal bench “exceeds the pace of confirmations under the Trump and Obama administrations.”
“As important as the numbers, we are seeing a number of confirmed nominees – both in their professional and demographic backgrounds,” he said in a statement. “Our effort to bring balance to the courts has been one of the great successes of this Senate.”
Democrats’ focus on the courts with Biden in the White House came after former President Donald Trump reformed the federal bench, with more than 230 judges confirmed during his four-year term. Trump also helped cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court by appointing three justices, paving the way for an overturn of Roe v. Wade in June.