On April 18th, President Joe Biden plans to announce five new judicial nominees, two of whom will be elevated to federal circuit courts and three of whom will be appointed to district courts. President Biden’s goals of increasing racial, ethnic, and professional diversity in the courts are reflected in the new nominees.
Nbcnews says that the President has nominated John Z. Lee, an Illinois district court judge, to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Salvador Mendoza Jr., a Washington district court judge, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He also intends to appoint Stephen Henley Locher to the Southern District of Iowa, Nancy L. Maldonado to the Northern District of Illinois, and Gregory B. Williams to the Delaware District Court.
Lee, if confirmed, would be the first Asian American to serve on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Chicago and oversees a number of Midwestern states. According to the White House, Maldonado would be the first Hispanic woman to serve as a federal judge in Illinois.
President Biden’s total number of judicial nominations now stands at 90, the most since the Reagan administration. In a major victory for the President, the Senate confirmed 59 of Biden’s nominees to Article III courts, most notably Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on a vote of 53-47 last Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has made it a priority to confirm the President’s nominees, and Democrats have tried to rally behind them, gaining Republican support for many of them along the way.
According to a White House official, 72 percent of President Biden’s nominees for judges will be women, 30 percent will be Black, 21 percent will be Hispanic, and 19 percent will be Asian American. In terms of personal background, 27% will be public defenders and 22% will be civil rights lawyers. “
After years of the previous administration confirming judges that were disproportionately white, disproportionately male, disproportionately from big law firms, Senate Democrats are working to bring balance back to our judiciary,” said Sen. Schumer. “It will make our democracy healthier, fairer, and stronger as the country grows increasingly diverse in this century.”