Senate Confirms 150th Lifetime Judge During Biden Administration

Courts News 11.7,23

Contact: Patrick McNeil, [email protected]

WASHINGTON With the confirmation today of Judge Kenly Kato and Julia Kobick to federal district courts in California and Massachusetts, respectively, the Senate has confirmed 150 lifetime federal judges during the Biden administration. To mark this milestone, The Leadership Conference released an overview of lifetime judicial confirmations since President Biden took office showing that two-thirds of the confirmed judges are women, more than 40 percent are women of color including Native American women, nearly two-thirds are people of color, and nearly half are professionally diverse with underrepresented legal backgrounds.

“The Senate’s confirmation of 150 lifetime judges during the Biden administration matters greatly for the future of our democracy and for equal justice in America. This number represents highly qualified and demographically diverse individuals, and nearly half of them possess experience as a public defender or civil rights lawyer — or both — or have otherwise dedicated a significant portion of their careers to protecting people’s civil and human rights. These diverse legal backgrounds have long been excluded from and underrepresented in our federal courts. The importance of adding this kind of experience to the bench cannot be overstated,” said Lena Zwarensteyn, senior director of the fair courts program at The Leadership Conference. “We’re grateful to President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, Judiciary Committee Chair Durbin, and all senators who are working to build an equal justice judiciary that works for all of us. Still, this critical progress must accelerate. We urge the White House and senators to fill all remaining judicial vacancies with diverse and qualified nominees who are committed to civil and human rights. Our communities depend on federal courts and federal judges to fairly administer justice for all people in America — and we must do everything to ensure that they do.”

For decades, The Leadership Conference has been at the forefront of this work because we know that each confirmation of a judicial nominee who is dedicated to equal justice makes a difference in the lives of people who appear in that judge’s courtroom and to all of us who are impacted by their decisions. Together with our coalition members and the Fair Courts Task Force — co-chaired by People For the American Way and National Women’s Law Center — we educate the public about the impact of federal courts, evaluate the civil rights records of federal judicial nominees, talk to decision-makers, and mobilize public participation in support of a judiciary that recognizes and protects the rights of all people.

The Leadership Conference released a report earlier this year on judicial confirmations during the 117th Congress, which is available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit