More than a year into his presidency, Donald Trump appears determined to make the judiciary white again.
Since taking office more than a year ago, Trump has nominated 87 people to be judges with lifetime tenure on U.S. district courts, circuit courts or the Supreme Court. He has appointed 29 individuals to lifetime appointments on the federal bench.
According to the Federal Judicial Center, a government agency that tracks judicial data, zero of Trump’s judges are black or Latino.
Eighty of them are white, or nearly 92 percent. One is black, one is Latino and five are Asian or Pacific American. He hasn’t nominated any Native American judges. Exactly three of Trump’s judicial appointments, Judges Amul Thapar, James Ho, and Karen Scholer, are South or East Asian, according to the FJC.
The census bureau estimates that only 61.3 percent of the U.S. population are white non-Hispanics.
The president has nominated 67 men, compared to 20 who are female. That translates to about 77 percent being men.
Trump hasn’t nominated any openly LGBTQ people to the federal courts.
According to the HuffPost:
It’s even more apparent how homogenous Trump’s picks are when compared to his recent predecessors. A Congressional Research Service analysis looked at the first 26 district and circuit court nominees from the last four presidents: Bill Clinton’s were 73 percent white, George W. Bush’s were 81 percent white, Barack Obama’s were 46 percent white, and Trump’s were 96 percent white.
Advocates for a more diverse federal bench say it’s crucial that the nation’s courts reflect the demographics of the populations they serve.
“People of color, LGBT individuals and women can supply effective, nuanced ‘outsider’ perspectives and insights about critical questions regarding abortion, criminal law, employment discrimination and related complicated issues,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor and expert on the federal judicial nomination process.
Brad Berry, general counsel for the NAACP, called Trump’s court picks “troubling.”
“The varied life experiences that judges bring to the bench quite often inform their views on the questions presented to them for decision,” Berry said. “It is for that reason that diversity on the bench ― racial, ethnic and gender ― is so critically important to the fair operation of our judicial system and, equally important, to the perception of fairness in that system.”