Wednesday, December 8, 2021


Latino groups say Nevada's new political maps have diluted their influence, especially in Las Vegas' Congressional District 1; and strikes that erupted in what became known as "Striketober" aren't over yet.


Presidents Biden and Putin discuss the Ukrainian border in a virtual meeting; Senate reaches an agreement to raise the debt ceiling; and officials testify about closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.


Rural areas are promised more equity from the U.S. Agriculture Secretary while the AgrAbility program offers new help for farmers with disabilities; and Pennsylvanians for abandoned mine reclamation says infrastructure monies are long overdue.

More Diverse Group of Federal Judges Expected Under Biden


Tuesday, May 4, 2021   

SEATTLE -- The change from the Trump to Biden administrations means a different approach to appointing federal judges.

President Donald Trump inherited more than 100 vacancies because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to confirm most of President Barack Obama's appointments in his final two years in the White House.

Trump proceeded to have 234 judges confirmed to lifetime appointments under Article III of the Constitution during his term, more than a quarter of federal judge positions.

Maria Diamond, a Seattle attorney who serves as a representative for Washington and board member of the American Association for Justice, said the overwhelming majority were white and male, but President Joe Biden plans to change that.

"We are best served as a society when our judiciary reflects the broad diversity and experience[s] and perspective[s] that we have," Diamond contended.

Eighty-four percent of the judges confirmed under Trump were white, compared with 63% under Obama, according to the American Constitution Society. More than three-quarters were male.

Critics also noted a handful of Trump picks lacked experience. McConnell said the record number of appointments under Trump is one of his greatest achievements in office.

Biden's first two nominations for district judgeships in Washington state are bucking the trend of the last administration. Not only are they more diverse, but they also have different professional experience than many Trump appointees.

Diamond pointed out most hailed from backgrounds defending corporations, but stressed Biden has expressed a desire to appoint folks from historically underrepresented sectors.

"That would include public defenders, civil-rights and legal-aid attorneys, attorneys who represent workers, who represent consumers, who represent families," Diamond outlined.

Diamond added these choices aren't abstract. While many think about a president's duty appointing Supreme Court justices, she explained district court judges will make decisions on issues that affect everyone, including gun control, voting rights and environmental justice.

"It will be, for the most part, the lower courts who rule on those," Diamond confirmed. "It's a very small percentage of cases that make their way up on appeal and ultimately to the Supreme Court."

Disclosure: Washington State Association for Justice contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
BP's refinery in Whiting, IN covers 1,400 acres in northwestern Indiana, just a few miles from the Chicago loop. (Adobe Stock)


WHITING, Ind. -- International oil-and-gas producer BP will pay more than $500,000 to the federal government as part of a legal settlement over air …

Social Issues

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Strikes that erupted in what became known as "Striketober" aren't over yet. After a two-day strike in October, health-care …

Social Issues

DENVER -- Women and low-income students disproportionately put their college careers on hold during the pandemic, according to a new report. Of the 1…

A proposal by Milwaukee City Alder Marina Dimitrijevic would provide 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents, regardless of their gender. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Like most of the nation, Wisconsin does not have a statewide paid parental leave policy, but in Milwaukee, a three-month paid …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- With kids stuck at home early in the pandemic, a new report said child-abuse cases decreased in 2020, but children's advocates say …

A new report says child-care expenses make up roughly 10% of a family's income in South Dakota. The percentages are much higher for families of color. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- If South Dakota wants to turn out a thriving economy, quality affordable child care needs to be a vital component, according to a …

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a system plagued by a history of disparities, Ohio's child-welfare workers and children's advocates say it is time to reimagine …


PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvanians were overwhelmingly present during three days of virtual public testimony to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) la…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021