Trump on course for least diverse judicial choices since Reagan
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s picks for federal judgeships reflect a strikingly different direction when it comes to diversity on the bench — it is the most white and male group of nominees in recent history.
So far, 91 percent of Trump’s 58 judicial nominees for district and appeals courts are white, a pace that would make his appointees the least diverse since the Reagan administration, according to statistics compiled by the liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice. Only 19 percent of his picks are women, a pace that would make his appointees the most male since the George H.W. Bush administration.
Compare that to President Barack Obama, who made adding diversity to the federal benches a priority in his judicial selection process. Of his 329 appointees, 64 percent are white, the lowest percentage of any president. Forty-two percent are women, the highest of any president, according to the Alliance statistics.
Trump’s “nearly exclusive focus on white males” will only serve to undermine the general public’s confidence in the justice system when they enter a courtroom, said Nan Aron, founder and president of Alliance for Justice.
“Diversity only enhances one’s confidence in his or her ability to appear before individuals who have open minds, different experiences,” Aron said.
Trump’s shift back toward a whiter, more male bench comes amid simmering racial tensions across the nation that have been stoked by the president. He has criticized professional football players who kneel during the national anthem to draw attention to how law enforcement treats minorities. He told reporters there were bad actors on “both sides” of a violent clash between white supremacist protesters and counterprotesters over the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va.
Trump has repeatedly referred to “our heritage” when speaking about Confederate monuments, such as when he backed Republican Ed Gillespie in a tweet that said the candidate for Virginia governor could “save our great statutes/heritage!”