Recapping Obama's Impact on the Courts in Year Six

<> on June 4, 2013 in Washington, DC.The analyses of President Obama’s impact on the courts keep rolling in, especially as journalists wonder whether November’s mid-term elections will turn control of the Senate over to Republicans.

Now a Bloomberg News article sizes up his record to date with the good news/bad news headline, “Obama Irks Allies in Judge Picks as Diversity Hits Record.” It touches on news mentioned in earlier Gavel Grab posts about diversity (click here) and about some nominations that rankle Obama allies (click here).

The article reports that Obama has surpassed his predecessor, President George W. Bush, for the number of judges confirmed to the bench at a corresponding point in his two terms. Forty-four appeals court and 189 district court nominees picked by Obama have been confirmed by the Senate, compared to 43 appeals court and 187 district court nominees chosen by Bush.

Regarding diversity, the article reports these Obama milestones:

  • Women make up 42 percent of Obama’s confirmed judges, versus 22 percent during the Bush administration and 29 percent during President Bill Clinton’s;
  • Racial and ethnic minorities are 36 percent of Obama’s confirmed picks, versus 19 percent under Bush and 25 percent under Clinton;
  • Eight of Obama’s confirmed judges are openly gay, versus zero under Bush and one under Clinton.


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