Obama Increases Number of Women, Minority Judges

The president is moving at a historic pace to diversify the federal judiciary.

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President Obama and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. (Getty)

Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press is reporting that President Barack Obama is moving at a historic pace to try to diversify the nation's federal judiciary: Nearly three of every four people he has gotten confirmed to the federal bench are women or minorities. He is the first president who hasn't selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships.

More than 70 percent of Obama's confirmed judicial nominees during his first two years were "nontraditional," or nominees who were not white males. That far exceeds the percentages in the two-term administrations of Bill Clinton (48.1 percent) and George W. Bush (32.9 percent), according to Sheldon Goldman, author of the authoritative book Picking Federal Judges.

"It is an absolutely remarkable diversity achievement," said Goldman, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who is counting judges only once, even if they fit more than one category.

Kudos to President Obama for making changes to the federal judiciary that will literally last a lifetime. As folks continue to chastise the president for what he is or isn't doing for women and communities of color, please note that this is a major accomplishment that no other president has done before him -- or, we suspect, will do after him.

In other news: Candorville: Invisible Man.

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