March 30, 2021

ACS President: First Judicial Nominees "A Positive First Step to Rebuilding Our Judiciary"

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez,

Washington, D.C.  – American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold released the following statement in response to the Biden-Harris administration’s first slate of judicial nominations.

“The American Constitution Society is encouraged by the Biden-Harris administration’s first slate of judicial candidates, which includes the type of qualified, fair-minded and diverse judicial nominees that this country needs. With nearly 100 current and future vacancies, it is important that the administration prioritize filling these seats as confirming diverse and fair-minded judges is likely to be a critical part of its legacy.

Under the Trump administration, former Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP-led Senate confirmed 234 federal judges, including 3 Supreme Court justices and 54 circuit court judges. For four years, Republicans were able to stack our courts with notably conservative judges who were predominantly young, white men. Of these 234 judges, 76 percent were men and 84 percent were white.

The courts should look like the people they represent and serve. The racial, gender, and professional diversity displayed in the Biden-Harris administration’s first slate of potential judges is an excellent start. The nominees include three African American women chosen for Circuit Court vacancies, as well as candidates who, if confirmed, would be the first Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history, the first AAPI woman to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C., and the first woman of color to serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland.

However, there is still plenty of work to do. Numerous district courts across the country have still never had a judge who is a person of color or a woman. This first slate sets the standard that diversity should be prioritized when picking judicial candidates.

It will be a long road to fix our courts after the last four years, but today’s announcement is a positive first step to rebuilding our judiciary.”

For more on the racial and gender diversity of the federal bench, be sure to check out ACS’s Diversity of the Federal Bench page.



ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at or on Twitter @acslaw