Trump’s judges, U.S. attorneys overwhelmingly white men
The analysis of the president’s nominees was released by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
By Matthew Nussbaum May 10, 2018
According to the report, the diversity of President Donald Trump’s judicial picks lags behind his predecessor, Barack Obama. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
President Donald Trump’s picks for top prosecutors and judges are overwhelmingly white men, according to an analysis released by the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The report slams Trump for what the Democrats describe as “degradation of the judicial nominations process, the lack of diversity among President Trump’s nominees, and this administration’s commitment to nominate ideological, often-unqualified candidates.”
The report found that just 8 percent of Trump’s nominees for U.S. attorney positions are women, and just 8 percent are people of color. The report found a similar, if slightly less stark, trend when it comes to judgeships: 25 percent of Trump’s district court nominees and 19 percent of his circuit court nominees are women; 8 percent of Trump’s district court nominees and 11 percent of his circuit court nominees are people of color.
The report contrasts the numbers with former President Barack Obama, who made diversity in the judiciary a priority. In Obama’s first year, 42 percent of his judicial nominees were women and 52 percent were people of color.
But in the process of highlighting the demographics of Trump’s nominees, the Democratic report also underscores Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s success in confirming judicial nominees with rapid speed — a top priority for the Kentucky Republican and his party.
“President Trump’s first 15 circuit court nominees took an average of 131 days to be confirmed. In contrast, President Obama’s first 15 circuit court nominees took an average of 254 days to be confirmed — more than twice as long,” the report states.
“On average, President Trump’s first 15 circuit court nominees waited just 20 days from approval by the Judiciary Committee to confirmation on the floor. On average, President Obama’s first 15 circuit court nominees waited 167 days from approval by the Judiciary Committee to confirmation on the floor — eight times longer than President Trump’s nominees.”
Conservative activists made a reshaping of the judiciary — and especially filling Antonin Scalia’s vacancy on the Supreme Court — a crucial element in the argument in favor of electing Trump. Trump has kept up his end of the bargain with alacrity, making judicial nominations a central part of his agenda on Capitol Hill, and McConnell has used the reshaping of the courts to help maintain unity within his occasionally fractured conference.
“Along with significant legislation benefiting the middle class and a growing economy, Sen. McConnell has made the confirmation of judicial nominations a top priority,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in an email. “The fact that the Republican Senate has been able to confirm so many nominees despite historic and relentless obstruction from Senate Democrats, is a testament to the priority the Leader, our Conference and the White House have put on nominating, vetting and confirming well-qualified nominees.”
The judiciary is not the only area in which Trump has been criticized for not emphasizing diversity. Democrats have been critical of Trump for naming just one African-American to his Cabinet, and having no African Americans serving as senior aides in the White House.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Elana Schor contributed reporting.