October 2020 Snapshot: Diversity of the Federal Bench
Current statistics on the gender and racial diversity of the Article III courts.
Diversity of the Federal Bench
This page shares current statistics on all active Article III judges as of November 1, 2020.
These graphs do not account for judges who have taken senior status (the Federal Judicial Center explains that senior status “enables judges to continue hearing cases with a reduced workload in lieu of retiring entirely”). Article III judges make up the U.S. Supreme Court, circuit courts, district courts, and the U.S. Court of International Trade. The page also compares the Article III judges confirmed under the Trump administration to those confirmed under the Obama administration.
All Active Federal Judges
Gender and Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of Active Article III Judges
These graphs show data for all judges who make up the U.S. Supreme Court, circuit courts, district courts, and the Court of International Trade, and are currently “active” (excluding judges who have taken senior status).
Confirmed Federal Judges Since 2009
Gender and Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of Active Federal Judges Confirmed Under President Trump and President Obama
During the Obama administration, there were 329 confirmed Article III judges: 2 justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, 55 circuit court judges, 268 district court judges, and 4 judges to the U.S. Court of International Trade.
The charts below show the difference in the diversity of lifetime judges confirmed during the Trump and Obama administrations.
Circuit Court Judges
Gender and Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of Active Circuit Court Judges
Each year, the circuit courts of appeal hear approximately 50,000 cases. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court only takes several hundred cases a year. Therefore the circuit courts are often the last word in federal appeals. View our map for data about individual circuit courts.
District Court Judges
Gender and Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of District Court Judges
The district courts are federal trial courts and are the first (and often only) stop for federal litigants. View our map for data about individual district courts.