‘a remarkable diversity achievement’

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to a reception for the new Supreme Court Justice at the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009.

AP: President Barack Obama is moving at an 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 “non-traditional,” 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…

 …. The president won Senate confirmation of the first Latina to the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. With the confirmation of Justice Elena Kagan, he has put three women on the high court for the first time. The Obama administration also nominated and won confirmation of the first openly gay man to a federal judgeship: former Clinton administration official J. Paul Oetken, to an opening in New York City.

 … Of the 98 Obama nominees confirmed to date, the administration says 21 percent are African-American, 11 percent are Hispanic, 7 percent are Asian-American and almost half – 47 percent – are women…

 … “The more diverse the courts, the more confidence people have in our judicial system,” said Nan Aron of the liberal Alliance for Justice. “Having a diverse judiciary also enriches the decision-making process.”

Full article here

81 Responses to “‘a remarkable diversity achievement’”

  1. 1 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 9:54 am

    not only are they a diverse group of folks but most of all they are qualified 😀

    Top Republicans To Obama:Stop Trying To Cut The Debt So Much! 😯 😯 😯

    How Congress Could End Up In A Government Shutdown Fight After All

    VIDEO: Protestors At Florida Tea Party Debate Defend Social Security Against GOP Attacks

  2. 2 StR
    September 13, 2011 at 9:54 am

    No wonder so many nominees are being held up or outright blocked by the GOP.

  3. September 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    But but but tavis said…

  4. September 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Have you called your Rep and Senators today to support the American Jobs Act? Have you wrote a LOTE to your local newspaper, or at least visited their online site and left a positive, supportive message regarding the Act? Have you called your Governor’s office, State Rep and Senator to complain about crumbling infrastructure (Pres. Obama mentioned calling local and State reps in his conference call yesterday – not specifically about infrastructure, but i figure you need to tie it into something they’d be concerned with, otherwise they’ll say it’s a federal issue). If your in Virginia or Ohio, and I’m sure it’s the same across the country, you have bridges that grade out the same as the collapsed Minnesota bridge did.

    • September 13, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Sue suggested that we target one person a day. Perhaps we can all contact Boehner today by fax, email, phone, tweet, etc. and then Cantor tomorrow. I so want the phone lines to melt.

      • 12 Sue in Minnesota
        September 13, 2011 at 10:55 am

        You know I think it would be good to alert everyone today and then hit both Boehner’s and Cantor’s offices tomorrow. Build up attention to the action so that we can engage as many people as possible. Then act, in concert.

        I think it might be a good idea to organize around a specific action plan everyday for the following day. I always feel good about my efforts, but at the same time I find it easy to wonder if they have any kind of real impact. We are always stronger when we join hands, and our focus is percise. I call it a cannon ball, as opposed to scatter shot.

        • September 13, 2011 at 10:59 am

          Good planning. Co-sign, Sue.

          • 14 Sue in Minnesota
            September 13, 2011 at 11:30 am

            Maybe if there was an Action Central post put up daily ….we could better organize around a single collective effort, as well as report on our additional individual efforts.

            I am off to write a couple e-mails, also am going to search out Virginia papers to see how they are covering Cantor’s obstruction to disaster
            relief funding. I honestly think Cantor is trying to give Cheney a run for his money as to who is more despicable.

            • September 13, 2011 at 11:35 am

              What you said. A daily central post with reports back on what we did sounds very good to me. And I think that also we continue that relentlessly, especially as it pertains to this jobs bill. We have to mobilize and find ways in terms of responding to distortions, incorrect info., etc by the press and others in the news.

              I like the idea a lot about organized daily action.

      • September 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm

        Good idea. Let’s put it on twitter a few times also.

    • September 13, 2011 at 11:14 am

      I’m leaving positive, supportive messages on every news website where I see any story about the American Jobs Act. I’ve contacted all my Congress people—-Sen. Kirk, Sen. Durbin —–asked him to please get out there and visibly support President Obama and this bill, and spread the word to his fellow Dems, who have disappointed so many of us with their invisibility—-and a wasted message to crazy Joe Walsh, told him to stop all the foolishness and represent the interest of his Illinois constituents for a nice change etc. Gov. Quinn is in like flynn, would never be anti-infrastructure funds and jobs, like Fl. Gov. “focus on jobs” Scott is.

  5. 19 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 10:11 am

    VIDEO: Rick Perry Calls Medicare And Social Security Unconstitutional

    The President of the Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas, Rob Schlein, told Michelangelo Signorile last week that he could get around firing someone for being black.

    • 20 elo4obam/biden
      September 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Thank you for posting Fred;www.signorile.com. That guy contradicted himself all over the place. He says vote for a republican due to other overiding interest other than gay rights. According to him there’s lots of pandering buy no chance of really overturning any hard won rights. Which to me that’s a huge problem right there, both how much of a hold the tea party, and the right has on social issues on the republican party. He then proceeds to gve NO credit to President Obama for overturning DADT, according to him it was all the log cabin party and folks with money putting pressure, which does not explain why soooo few republicans voted for the repeal or why so many are fighting it’s impementation. He then takes the president to task for not letting the case go to the supreme court, claiming the repeal is vulnerable if the wrong president gets in office. Does he not realize he just argued against his own case.

      I had to listen myself for the tone when discussing dishonesty in firing ( and might I say Hiring) based on race. Yup, he sounded like he had no problem with that kind of dishonest practice.

      It’s sad really people are encouraged to vote for and support someone so willing to appeal to folks with none of their most basic interest in mind. He’s giving Perry and others a pass for not giving voice to their real feelings on gay rights- whether it’s supporting civil unions, or repealing DADT, or states rights all to throw them under the bus to get the tea party and conservative christian right vote. Cause according to him there’s litte chance of anything being passed like say a ban on gay marriage, or civi rights protecting gays . As he says Texas is a right to work state, and when it comes down to it people will lye about why you’re being fired or otherwise having your civil rights being violated.


  6. 21 ChristiMtl
    September 13, 2011 at 10:13 am

    To those who want to boycott CNN sponsors, this is what I found, I think it’s recent enough;


    The network responsible for the rise of the far right. The TeaParty network

    • 22 mtmarilyn
      September 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Thank you for finding that list.

      • 23 ChristiMtl
        September 13, 2011 at 10:28 am

        A lot on that list are sold in Canada as well.
        Chrystal Light, Cepacol, Purina, Mr. Clean and so on.

        I’m going to send emails to these companies and the reason for the boycott. Again, I know it’s only a drop in the ocean but I hope many people will start boycotting the cash cow of that travesty of a network.

        At least Fox News doesn’t pretend to be neutral. They don’t hide their RW agenda like CNN

        CNN is a lot more dangerous because they still have a good reputation, for people who don’t really pay attention.

        I just hope the list is recent enough.

    • 24 Sue in Minnesota
      September 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

      Thank you for the list. Our do not buy list at the grocery store has been updated.

    • September 13, 2011 at 10:59 am

      Thanks for the list, ChristiMtl!!

  7. 28 Ladyhawke
    September 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I am crazy about Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The senate hearings were just riveting. She is an amazing woman. Again I ask the emoprogs who would you like to see pick the next supreme court justice to sit along side Justices Sotomayor and Kagan? President Barack Obama, Rich Romney or Ponzi Perry??

    • 29 utaustinliberal
      September 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      She really is fantastic isn’t she? Also to listen to oral arguments shown by C-SPAN and hear her point of view is fascinating. I also love that she regularly talls to young people about the Supreme Court, our laws, diversity, education and a host of other issues. She’s quite excellent to watch and is a brilliant public speaker.

      So happy that with the election of President Obama came more and more diversity in the courts. Our judicial system should reflect its people. White males alone cannot hand down judgements and decisions. We’re a society filled with many ethnicities, cultures, langauages, and the like. So our highest court must and should represent that.

  8. September 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Don’t know if anyone has posted this. I know this is not shocking news but needs attention. “38 states rigging election for GOP”

    • 31 jacquelineoboomer
      September 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

      I’m going to send this to Sen. Durbin (my senator), who’s conducting hearings on state voter suppression laws. Thank you.

      • 32 Sue in Minnesota
        September 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

        I’ll do the same, I am writing the DOJ with my concerns over this as well.

        If you visit other websites and leave comments, please consider reminding people to join us in this campaign to make our voices heard.
        Pass the JOBS PLAN…NOW!

        • 33 jacquelineoboomer
          September 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

          Good idea about the DOJ. Think I sent in my concerns to them (they have an office on voting irregularities) via their website, recently. I’ll use Twitter today.

          • 34 jacquelineoboomer
            September 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

            Can’t use Twitter: “Official DOJ Twitter account. DOJ does not collect comments or messages through this account. Learn more at justice.gov/privacy-file.htm”

            Off to visit their website.

    • September 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Every time I hear or read about it, it not only shocks me, it scares me to think that this is happening in the United States of America. We send people to monitor elections in places like my native country, but we work diligently to deny people the rights to vote here.

      Something has got to be done about this.

      • 36 jacquelineoboomer
        September 13, 2011 at 11:14 am

        One of those monitors who goes to other countries to witness elections is former President Jimmy Carter. I think I’ll write to him, and ask him to get on some of the cable news shows to bring more light on what the GOP governors are doing. Thanks for putting that idea in my head, with your great comment here.

    • 39 sjterrid
      September 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      I called the Justice’s civil rights division and spoke to a woman in the Deputy District Attorneys office when I heard about what happened in Wisconsin to the State Department employee who got fired when he emailed his department about the DMV not telling anybody that the voter Id’s are free, and if they don’t ask they have to pay a $28 fee. I asked her if they are checking into all these Republican Governors making laws that will limit the vote in democratic districts. They are aware of the problem and working on it.

  9. 40 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

    can anyone send these to Whoopy and Joy ahead of Cheney’s visit today via twitter? please and thank you

    Cheney Claims Waterboarding ‘Produced Phenomenal Results’

    Bush Credits ‘The Work That Was Done’ During ‘My Presidency’ For Osama Bin Laden’s Death

    Dick Cheney Still Thinks Saddam Hussein Was Involved in 9/11

    • 41 jacquelineoboomer
      September 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

      The View is having Dick Cheney on their show? Oh my God.

    • 42 Sue in Minnesota
      September 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

      ABC is blocked …..how radical of me :D….in our household, for quite some time thanks to Barbara Walters, DWTS and Good Morning America pandering to that political fraud Palin.

  10. 44 anniebella
    September 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

    So GW Bush want to take credit for bin Laden being killed. Okay GW, I’ll give you credit if you stand before the American public and take responsibility for this dam crisis you left this economy in.

    • 48 jacquelineoboomer
      September 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

      That’s so annoying of Steve Benen … criticizing the President before you acknowledge he’s “negotiating better.” I cannot stand this unfairness … never giving full credit for anything.

      • 49 Debz
        September 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

        No one will ever give this President full credit. As for “negotiating better” this President has been focused on doing what is best for the country. I get tired of these “experts” who believe “negotiating” means letting the government shut down or letting the country default, or worse, thinking the Prez should do something that could get him impeached, like the whole 14th amendment thing.

      • 50 Sue in Minnesota
        September 13, 2011 at 11:11 am

        We are just so saturated in all the negativity expressed towards this President, everything seems like it is just piling on. And yet we want journalists to be fair and present a balanced perspective. I hear you loud and clear. Taking my own emotional temperature today I’m even more sensitive than normal. The debates last week had the same affect on me the day following. I am glad President Obama will be speaking later today and that we can follow it, he always helps me to regain my emotional balance, and to shore up my constitution.

        • 51 jacquelineoboomer
          September 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

          Thanks so much, Sue. I, too, will find better balance by hearing our calm, cool, and collected President later today!

        • 52 Debz
          September 13, 2011 at 11:28 am

          Agreed Sue, our President always calms me. I don’t even watch the debates, but hearing about them scares me. Then I need my PBO fix.

  11. September 13, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I just get tickled thinking about how our President spent his “vacation” writing this stellar jobs plan and roll out. He is awesome.

  12. 54 Ladyhawke
    September 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Happening now on CSPAN-3


    Hears from CBO Director


    • September 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

      How much do I love that Senator Murray is one of the co-chairs of this committee? She is so no-nonsense and won’t brook any stalls or stupidity. Go PATTY!

      • 56 Ladyhawke
        September 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

        She is just awesome. I remember that press conference she gave during the budget battle back in April. She is a fighter. I am thrilled that she is the co-chair.

        By the way, I just listened to a wonderful presentation by Congressman Xavier Becerra. He did a nice job of going back to the years 2000-2008 to explain what was done then and how it impacts the mess we are dealing with today. It is very important that we know what was done in the past that DID NOT WORK so we don’t repeat the same mistakes.

        Everything went to hell in a hand basket when the Bush administration decided to squander the surplus left my the Clinton administration. Those are just the facts. This can not be repeated often enough. This is the problem for the Republicans on the committee. There is no denying that the Bush administration was handed a surplus and they spent like drunken sailors with no regard for the impact on the economy. And don’t even get me started with the wars.

  13. 57 carolyn
    September 13, 2011 at 11:07 am

    To us, and to millions of others, this diversity in judicial appointments is a GOOD thing. But, it is difficult to realize and understand that to millions on the right, this is a bad thing. They want only white males on courts, and one of the reasons they will work to defeat President Obama is so he won’t be making any more judicial appointments. Those people think way ahead…what astounds me are the Republican women who bow to this kind of thinking. But then, I can’t understand how any woman can be a Republican. If it had been up to Republicans, we would never have gotten the right to vote.

    • 58 Sue in Minnesota
      September 13, 2011 at 11:17 am

      Republican women , IMO are, Barbie dolls! They are not my idea of healthy role models. This adminsitration has so many admirable and determined women in it’s forces, I need look no further for great women.

      • 59 Sue in Minnesota
        September 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

        My brother and i had dinner together last night. We are of like minds regarding politics, both engaged, although I am the optimist and he is more pessimistic (I think in part it is a difference between male and female energies). He said, which now strikes me as ironic, considering this topic…that all the Republicans needed was some beauty queen (she has to be really bodacious, Palin, Bachmann types weren’t up to the mark in the beauty department per him) and these boneheads would vote her into office. I said last night they like their women plastically artifical and rock stupid, and needed them to stroke their virility.

    • September 13, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Many Repub women are the submissive types, having learned this behavior by growing up in ultra- conservative, restrictive religious homes where daddy rules and always knows best.

    • 62 HZ
      September 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      Carolyn, please help POB by writing or e mailing Senator Reid to have a Senate vote on the pending nominations of POB still waiting. Also, please write Chairman Leahy, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee to give your support to him. He needs to hear from those of us to give him support to get these nominations through. He is trying so hard. I have contacted my Senators already. Please help . The judges nedd to get on the bench to rule faily and lawfully for all citizens. Please help me. Thank you TOD family.HZ

  14. 64 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Elizabeth is asking Mrs Cheney if she feels “hurt” by the criticism going her husband’s way? 🙄
    don’t remember Cheney ever apologizing to the man he insulted with a “f*ck you” on the floor of Congress

  15. 65 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Dick Cheney “I would not withdraw from Afghanistan” 🙄

  16. September 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Pentagon to cut spending in Afghanistan drastically, at the behest of the WH:


    Not the way it is reported in the news!

  17. 68 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

    BabaWawa questioning Cheney on Iraq and WMD and Saddam Hussein and she wants to know if it was worth it? mild applause from crowd and once again he links Iraq and 9/11 😯

  18. September 13, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Good Morning TOD family

    I slept in out here in California and missed a lot.

    I am so grateful to everyone who posted a note about doing something today.

    Here is my CALL TO ACTION

    1. Contact your elected officials and tell them you support the bill. Each day that goes by, it is easier to forget our focus, they expected calls Friday, they don’t expect them today. Tell Dems you expect their support, and tell Republicans its time to stop protecting the rich and help middle class families.

    When you make a call or send an email, let us know here at the blog, just add it to the discussion so we can all be encouraged.


    This will be a long fight, just like te election in 2012 is a long fight, we need to practice keeping our focus and doing the same things over and over.

  19. September 13, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Tweety will have all the bridges in boners district that are in disrepair!
    Probably show them on the bottom line!

  20. September 13, 2011 at 11:46 am


    Promote the Jobs Act. This bill is filled with things that will help average Americans

    Last Night I added state pages for Georgia and Illinois. All the states I have made so far can be found from this page.


    SPECIAL APPEAL :: I am a bit confused by folks on the blog who did not understand the way the state pages were supposed to work. I offered to make a page for anyone who sent me the local media contacts for their state, or sent me a resource. Snoop got it – I already had Texas local media so Snoop sent me a link to the American Jobs bill that was created by the WH and I am using that on every page.

    The rest of the folks just asked for a specific state and did not send me anything in return. (if I missed it my apologies please post again)

    If you are not sure how to find the web site of your local paper or TV station I would suggest you google it. Another option is to google “local media your state name here”. Once you are at a site with useful information you highlight the http://…… part and go to the Edit menu and select Copy, then you go to this blog, make a note that says Hey WIW here is a resource for my state and then go to Edit and elect Paste.

    I am always grateful when folks send me kind words about the things I do at my blog or articles I share here, but on this project I need you to move beyond compliments and take action to help me build a list of local media. If resources for your state are already done, do another state as an act of kindness and support.

    The list of local media can be found here.

  21. 76 Fred
    September 13, 2011 at 11:49 am

    funny how Cheney thinks deficit is an issue now but when he was VP he said the deficit didn’t matter;can someone remind the ladies of this show please
    hell I’ll do them a favor and try to look for the clip of Cheney saying “deficit don’t matter” 🙄

    Cheney: Telling Leahy to ‘f*ck’ himself was ‘sort of the best thing I ever did.’

  22. 77 tally
    September 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Until 60% of the justices in this country are FEMALE, including FIVE on the SCOTUS, there will not be true representation of the US population.

    Sorry guys, we just live longer….. turns out bleeding for a week every month is actually good for you.


    • 78 Sue in Minnesota
      September 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      Tally your are outrageous….and I love you for it.

      I also am glad my bleeding days are ancient history.

  23. 79 rikyrah
    September 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    1. it’s an underreported story.

    2. you will NEVER convince me that THIS isn’t a whole lot of the reason why the GOP is holding up so many of his judicial appointments. can you imagine what the numbers would look like if POTUS had ALL of his judicial appoints let through? the sheer numbers?

    • 80 HZ
      September 13, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      rikyrah, will you help me and write to Senate Majority Leader Reid to get the votes done on those pending nominations of POB for the judicial benches throughout the country. They are holding them up in the Senate. Also, would you please e mail or call Chairman Patrick Leahy (who is doing a great job) to encourage committee members to help him get these nominations out of committee and get a vote in the Senate. He needs to hear from more of us. Thank you so much.HZ

  24. 81 carolyn
    September 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    HZ…. will do. Wrote Senator Leahy yesterday….let him know my roots go deep in Vermont, even though I now live in Oklahoma. When I write, I like to find some commonality with the state of thesenator….I think it helps a little, because when I worked for a Senator….48 years ago!!! we looked for a link with the state. I have told a couple of Senators from states where I have previously lived, that I have “adopted” them because my Republican senators do not represent me. I tried to write Senator Durbin, but only Illinois residents could get through…..I will call tomorrow.

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