Published on: Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Those tasked with administering justice are overwhelmingly white and male, while the country is not (article available here). The identity of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor is now in the forefront of the news. The import of that appointment is self-evident. But as the gravity of that singular decision holds the public’s focus in its orbit, the American people must not lose sight of the entirety of the federal judiciary.

Since January 20, 2017, the president has appointed 55 appellate judges, two of whom now sit on the Supreme Court and the remaining 53 on circuit courts of appeal. Of those 55 judges, 85 percent are white and 80 percent are male. Not one of those judges is Black. More than 90 percent were raised or currently identify as Christian. American jurisprudence will be influenced for years by these judges whose median age is just 49—not at the time of appointment, but today. Several of them are still in their 30s. These appointments now comprise nearly 30 percent of the total federal appellate bench.