Obama Emphasizes Diversity in Filling Judicial Vacancies

President Obama appears to be making diversity a priority in his judicial appointments. Of the 35 federal judicial nominees awaiting a Senate confirmation vote, 17 are women, 15 are ethnic minorities, and five are openly gay. Of the judges who were confirmed during Obama’s first term, 37 percent were non-white and 42 percent were women. These figures are notably higher than those of his predecessors, with 27 and 30 percent of Clinton appointees being non-white and women, respectively, and 19 and 21 percent of Bush appointees being non-white and women. There are more than 50 judicial vacancies for which nominees have not been named.