Lifetime Judges Confirmed During the Biden Administration Through 2023
During the first three years of the Biden administration, the Senate has confirmed 166 lifetime judges. President Biden’s appointees have been historically diverse — both personally and professionally — and have included brilliant jurists like Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who the Senate confirmed last year as the first Black woman and first former public defender to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Justice Jackson’s historic confirmation matters tremendously for the future of equal justice in America. But President Biden’s appointees to federal circuit and district courts — including Justice Jackson’s previous confirmation to the D.C. Circuit — also deserve recognition for the underrepresented legal backgrounds and lived experiences they bring to our federal judiciary.
We celebrate this long overdue and important progress, and we thank President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Durbin for their leadership. These lifetime judges will decide important issues — from voting rights to equal pay to health care access. Still, there remains so much at stake, and we urge President Biden and all senators to fill the remaining judicial vacancies with diverse nominees committed to civil and human rights.
- The Senate has confirmed one Supreme Court justice, 39 circuit court judges, and 126 district court judges. Every confirmed judge who was supported by The Leadership Conference, including more information about their backgrounds, is available here.
- Professional diversity: Nearly half (80) of the confirmations have been individuals who were public defenders or civil rights lawyers (or both) or who otherwise dedicated a significant portion of their careers to protecting people’s civil and human rights.
- 108 confirmations of women, or nearly two-thirds of all lifetime confirmations.
- 70 confirmations of women of color, including Native American and Native Hawaiian women (more than 40 percent of all lifetime confirmations).
- 110 confirmations of people of color, including Native Americans (nearly two-thirds of all lifetime confirmations).
- Black judges: President Biden has appointed 53 Black lifetime judges, including 33 Black women.
- Native American judges: President Biden has appointed four Native American lifetime judges, including the first Native American lifetime judges in Maryland, Washington state, and California, and the first Native American woman to serve as a lifetime judge in Oklahoma. Half of all Native American judges in our nation’s history have been appointed by President Biden. To date, a Native American judge has never served on a federal appellate court.
- Latino/a judges: President Biden has appointed 32 Latino/a lifetime judges (more than one-third of the 88 active Latino/a lifetime judges).
- Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) judges: President Biden has appointed 29 AANHPI judges, including 20 AANHPI women. The Senate recently confirmed Judge Shanlyn Park, who became the first Native Hawaiian woman to ever serve as a lifetime federal judge.
- Openly LGBTQ judges: President Biden has appointed nine openly LGBTQ lifetime judges and is poised to surpass President Obama’s record of 11 openly LGBTQ lifetime judges. Nicole Berner, nominated to the Fourth Circuit, would be the first openly LGBTQ judge to ever serve on that court.
- Judges with disabilities: President Biden has appointed at least two lifetime judges (Jamal Whitehead and Rita Lin) who are known to be living with a disability.