Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding President Biden’s upcoming nomination to the Supreme Court. Senator Schumer underscored the professional and racial diversity of the federal judges the Senate confirmed in the President’s first year. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
One of the most solemn responsibilities entrusted to the United States Senate is offering our advice—and ultimately our consent—on the President’s appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is a responsibility that stands apart from just about all others; those whom we approve to sit on the Court will render judgment and exert influence on the most consequential of legal matters for years, and potentially for decades. The impact of any one Supreme Court nominee is often felt long after the work of a single Administration comes to an end.
Very soon, this will be precisely the task that the Senate will be asked to take up once again, when President Biden announces his choice to replace Associate Justice Breyer.
I have no doubt President Biden will name someone who can not only bring members of this body together, but someone with a proven record for excellence, even-handedness. When President Biden makes his announcement, I intend to have the Senate move quickly to take up and confirm his nominee.
The President has promised he will nominate a Black Woman to serve as a Justice for the first time ever. This will not only be one of the most important moments in the history of our courts, but of our entire country. Precious few have held the title of “Justice” in American history—only 115 to date. And none of them has been a Black Woman.
So the President’s announcement is truly historic and potentially game-changing for the future of Supreme Court nominees.
Imagine the impact the President’s pick will have for countless young people who look up to the nation’s Courts and see men and women who better reflect our country’s makeup.
Imagine how that will inspire the next generation to pursue their own interests in public service, in law and government. The judges and Justices of the future have their eyes on this body right now in the present.
If our democracy is to prosper in this century, we need people from all walks of life to see they have a place at the table when it comes to public service. The President’s promise is an big step in that direction.
The Democratic-led Senate has already played an important role in bringing balance and diversity to our courts with highly qualified nominees. It has been one of our highest priorities from the moment we entered the majority.
Under President Biden, the Senate has confirmed 46 judges to serve lifetime appointments to the federal bench. Indeed, this Majority has confirmed the most judges in the first year following the President’s inauguration since the time of John F. Kennedy.
Three quarters of these new judges have been women. Three quarters. Two-thirds have been people of color. More than a quarter of all of President Biden’s appointees have been black women, who are still too far underrepresented in our federal judiciary.
And it’s not just their demographic diversity that makes them remarkable, though that is unquestionably important. The new judges are also diverse because of their professional backgrounds: we’ve confirmed more federal defenders in the President’s first year than any President in modern history. We have confirmed more civil rights lawyers, election lawyers, more individuals with deep experience in public service.
And I want to emphasize one other thing: these nominees are also extremely qualified. We are not sacrificing qualifications and excellence for diversity. President Biden’s nominees are both more diverse and more qualified, in my judgment, than any president in recent history.
So, Senate Democrats are proud of this record and we’re going to keep going.
Diversity, in all its forms, matters. It’s good for the justice system. It’s vital for the health of our democracy.
When the President announces his historic pick, the Senate will be ready to move quickly and fairly to confirm her to the Supreme Court.