Women Make Big Gains In Judiciary Under Obama Administration


Despite the fact that women make up over half of law school graduates, they are severely under-represented on the bench of state and federal courts. But this week marked a step to change that as the Senate confirmed six new judicial nominees, four of whom were women.

More importantly, it continues the remarkable efforts of the Obama administration to diversify the federal bench. The confirmation of these women brings the total number of women confirmed to the federal bench during the Obama administration to 50, representing 47% of all confirmed nominees.

Two of these nominees made history in their jurisdictions. Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown will be the first African-American woman on the Eastern District of Louisiana and Judge Nancy Torrensen will be the first woman to sit on the federal district court bench of Maine.

While we celebrate these accomplishments we cannot overlook the need to press on. When I first started arguing cases a decade ago it was assumed that nearly every courtroom I entered would have a man on the bench. That is slowly starting to change, and justice is better served for it.

Women judges bring a necessarily different perspective to the parties that appear before them. It’s a diversity of opinion, background and experience that rightly reflects the diversity of this country. Our federal judiciary was designed to be a place of grievance for citizens–an arbitrator of justice for the individual when faced against the power of the state or the power of the corporation. We’ve seen what a homogenous bench has done to giving citizens their day in court. Congratulations to these fine jurists and to the Obama administration for advancing the cause of justice in the federal judiciary.


Photo from steakpinball via flickr.


Pamela B.
Pamela B.6 years ago

Charlene R. I agree. But I sometimes think that the right really does want a dictatorship because they want EVERYONE to think the same way they do.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

To Tierney G.: Please, save your displeasure for President Obama, if he fails to deliver on his goals, after he is re-elected. This is the ONLY way we will see his ambitions fulfilled, of course, with the addition of more Democrats in the House of Representatives.

He can't perform miracles and without the Congress' support, he is stymied.

If ONE person had ALL the power to make EVERY decision, we would have a dictatorship, and we don't want that.

Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons6 years ago

Yet civil rights suffer more than under any other administration even worse than bush.

Linda T.
Linda T6 years ago

Very good news.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

With this statistic, we just gave the misogynist, conservative male persons, another reason to vote for someone, other than, President Obama.
The truly, amazing part of this, is the fact that conservative women still don't get it. The GOP doesn't want them in power, period, which would become evident, with a lie detector test.

A truly, self-confident man, most obviously, will be happy with this situation, because women don't threathen him. This is one of most pertinent reasons, Care2 is vastly significant.

Vera K.
Vera Kauppinen6 years ago

good job!

Bryan S.
Bryan S6 years ago

This is obviously good for women...but more importantly it's good for the Judicial system and society in general. The more women in those positions... the better!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton6 years ago

Good to hear!

Jennifer Jimenez
Jennifer Jimenez6 years ago

Well done! thanks for sharing

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez6 years ago

awesome thanks!!