Integrity Florida releases a new report today examining how the quality and diversity of judicial nominations has changed under the Trump administration and what those changes mean for the country and for Floridians who rely on the courts for the fair administration of justice in criminal and civil cases.
Since President Trump took office in 2017 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of judicial nominations made as well as the pace of the confirmation process. This stands in stark contrast to the previous administration where obstruction by the U.S. Senate slowed the process to a crawl.
The Trump administration has said that instead of focusing on diversity when nominating candidates for federal judgeships, they will prioritize “qualifications.” This report calls that assertion into question.
“The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has rated more of President Trump’s judicial nominees as ‘Not Qualified’ than they have for his last four predecessors,” said Ben Wilcox, Research Director for Integrity Florida. “That number could increase as his first Congress concludes,” Wilcox added.
In addition to analyzing the quality of President Trump’s judicial nominees, the report analyzes the diversity of nominees in terms of race and gender. Diversity is important at every level of the judiciary but especially in the lower courts that have the final word on thousands of cases spanning hundreds of issues.
“Ninety-one percent of President Trump’s nominees for federal judgeships have been white compared to fifty-seven percent of President Obama’s nominees and eighty percent of President George W. Bush’s nominees,” said, Brad Ashwell, co-author of the report. “The majority of them, seventy-seven percent, have been male.”
Read the full report here.
- As of July 1, 2018, President Trump has nominated 140 individuals to serve as judges on the federal courts in 141 different positions. One individual was nominated for two different posts.
- With six months remaining in his first two years in office, President Trump has already nominated more federal judicial nominees than three of his four predecessors did in their entire first two years.
- The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has rated more of President Trump’s judicial nominees as “Not Qualified” than they have for his last four predecessors. The number could increase as his first Congress concludes.
- Most of President Trump’s nominees for federal judgeships have been white (91%) compared to 57% of President Obama’s nominees and 80% of President George W. Bush’s nominees who were white.
- Only 1% of President Trump’s nominees for federal judgeships have been African American and only 4% have been Hispanic.
- President Trump’s nominees for federal judges have been 77% male. In contrast, President Obama’s nominees were 55% male and President George W. Bush’s nominees were 80% male.
- President Trump has nominated eight judges for positions in Florida. Five of them are white, two Hispanic and one African American. Of the Florida nominations, seven are male, and one is female. None of them has been confirmed yet by the U.S. Senate.
Integrity Florida is a nonpartisan research institute and government watchdog whose mission is to promote integrity in government and expose public corruption. More information at integrityflorida.org.