Senate Democrats Have Made History In Confirming President Biden’s Nominees

March 1, 2022

At this point in President Biden’s presidency, Senate Democrats have confirmed more judges than any president since JFK. These judges are making history with their professional and personal diversity. Now, Senate Democrats plan to build on this progress by confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.

Thanks to Senate Democrats, President Biden has had more total circuit and district court nominees confirmed at this point than any president since John F. Kennedy.

President

Circuit court judges confirmed through end of February of second year

District court judges confirmed through end of February of second year

Total circuit and district court confirmations through end of February of second year

Biden

14

32

46

Trump

14

10

24

Obama

5

10

15

Bush 43

7

32

39

Clinton

3

30

33

Bush 41

5

12

17

Reagan

9

34

43

Carter

10

22

32

Ford

5

19

24*

Nixon

12

13

25

Johnson

3

15

18*

Kennedy

13

53

66

Eisenhower

3

12

15

Sources: Congress.gov; fjc.gov

*indicates terms not begun in January and used first 13 months for reference

President Biden and Senate Democrats are breaking barriers with judicial confirmations

  • The first LGBTQ woman to serve on any federal circuit court
  • The first Muslim American federal judge in history
  • The first Korean-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge
  • The first African American judge to serve on the Federal Circuit

Senate Democrats have confirmed President Biden’s historically-diverse and well-qualified judicial nominees. Of the 46 Senate-confirmed federal judges, a recent record of judges confirmed to this point, 3/4 have been women and 2/3 have been people of color. These judges are also historically diverse in terms of their professional and life experiences, coming from a wide range of backgrounds. In fact, President Biden has nominated “more public defenders, civil rights attorneys and nonprofit lawyers to the federal bench during his first year in office than any other president.”

 

Historic Circuit Court Confirmations

Candace Jackson-Akiwumi is the second African American to serve on the Seventh Circuit. [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/24/21]

Tiffany P. Cunningham is the first African American Judge to serve on the Federal Circuit. [Reuters, 7/19/21]

Eunice C. Lee is the second African American woman to serve on the Second Circuit. [White House, 5/12/21]

Gustavo A. Gelpí, Jr. is the second judge of Hispanic origin to serve on the First Circuit and the second judge from Puerto Rico to serve on the First Circuit. [White House, 5/12/21]

Myrna Pérez is the only Latina serving on the Second Circuit. [White House, 6/15/21] 

Beth Robinson is the first openly LGBT woman to serve on any federal circuit court. [White House, 8/5/21]

Lucy Koh is the first Korean-American woman to serve on U.S. federal appeals court. [Bloomberg Law, 11/13/21]


Historic District Court Confirmations

Regina Rodriguez is the first Asian American to serve as a federal judge for the District of Colorado. [Colorado Politics, 6/8/21]

Zahid Quraishi is the first Muslim American federal judge in US history. [White House, 3/30/21]

Lydia Griggsby is the first woman of color to serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland. [White House, 3/30/21]

Angel Kelley is the second African American woman and the second Asian American to serve as a federal judge for the District of Massachusetts. [White House, 5/12/21]

Florence Y. Pan the first Asian American woman to serve as a federal judge for the District of Columbia. [White House, 3/30/21]

Lauren J. King is the first Native American to serve as a federal judge in Washington State. [White House, 5/12/21]

Tana Lin is the first Asian American to serve as a federal judge in Washington State. [AP, 10/22/21]

Jia M. Cobb is the second African American woman actively serving as a federal judge for the District of Columbia. [White House, 6/15/21]

Karen M. Williams is the first African American to serve as a federal judge in the Camden courthouse of the District of New Jersey. [White House, 5/12/21]

Patricia Tolliver Giles is the second woman of color to serve as a federal judge in Virginia. [White House, 6/30/21]

Sarala Vidya Nagala is the first person of South Asian descent to serve as a federal judge for the District of Connecticut. [White House, 6/15/21]

David Ruiz is the first Hispanic judge to serve as a district court judge for Ohio’s Northern District. [Cleveland.com, 12/17/21]


Historic D.C. Court Confirmations

Rupa Ranga Puttagunta is the first Asian American judge on the U.S. District Court in D.C. [American Kahani, 2/7/22]

Loren AliKhan is the first Asian American to serve on the D.C. Court of Appeals. [DC.gov, 2/8/22]


President Biden And Senate Democrats Made History By Confirming President Biden’s Executive Branch Nominees

President Biden and the Senate Democrats are making history, confirming an incredibly diverse slate of nominees in just the first year. According to the Partnership for Public Service, over fifty percent of President Biden’s Senate-confirmed appointees have been women. The President’s Cabinet is also historically diverse, with the highest percentage of women and Latino Secretaries confirmed in recent history.

Avril Haines is the first female Director of National Intelligence. [Wall Street Journal, 1/20/21]

Secretary Lloyd Austin is the first African American Secretary of Defense. [NPR, 1/22/21]

Secretary Janet Yellen is the first female Treasury Secretary in U.S. history. [NPR, 1/25/21]

Secretary Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay Cabinet member confirmed by Senate. [ABC News, 2/2/21]

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino head of Homeland Security. [NPR, 2/2/21]

Kathleen Hicks is the first woman to serve as Deputy Secretary of Defense. [Defense News, 2/9/21]

Cecilia Rouse is the first Black chair of White House Economic Council. [New York Times, 3/2/21]

Michael Regan is the first Black man to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. [USA Today, 3/10/21]

Secretary Deb Haaland is the first Native American Cabinet Secretary in U.S. history. [NPR, 3/15/21]

Katherine Tai is the first woman of color and the first Asian American US Trade Representative, [Huffington Post, 3/18/21]

Secretary Xavier Becerra is the first Latino Secretary of Health and Human Services. [USA Today, 3/18/21]

Dr. Rachel Levine is the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by Senate. [NPR, 3/24/21]

Wally Adeyamo is the first Black man to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. [The Hill, 3/25/21]

Vanita Gupta is the first Indian-American confirmed as Associate Attorney General. [The Wire, 4/21/21]

Brenda Mallory is the first African American to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality. [Roll Call, 4/22/21]

Christine Wormuth is the first woman Secretary of the Army. [USA Today, 5/27/21]

Robert Santos is the first Latino to lead the US Census Bureau. [New York Times, 11/4/21]

Charles F. Sams, Director of the National Park Service, is the first Native American to hold that role. [NBC News, 11/19/21]

Jessica Rosenworcel is the first Female head of the Federal Communications Commission. [Axios, 12/7/21]

Rashad Hussain, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, is the first Muslim to hold the position. [Dallas Morning News, 10/21/21]

Armando Bonilla is the first Latino confirmed as a member of the Federal Claims Court. [Judiciary Committee, 10/28/21]

Amit Bose is the first person of South-Asian descent to head the Federal Railroad Administration. [DOT, 1/13/22]

Chantale Yokmin Wong was confirmed to lead the Asian Development Bank with the rank of Ambassador, making her the first openly lesbian ambassador ever confirmed by the Senate, and the first LGBT person of color to serve in an ambassador-level role. [NBC, 2/9/22]

Amy Gutmann is the first woman ambassador to Germany. [Philly Voice, 2/9/22]

Reta Jo Lewis is the first Black woman to lead the Export Import Bank. [CQ Roll Call, 2/10/22]

Additionally, Biden nominees are making history in states across the US, as the Senate confirmed the first Black US Attorney for Massachusetts, Rachel Rollins, as well as Indiana’s first two Black US Attorneys, and the first Black US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams. And we are just getting started.

In addition to confirming these critical nominees, President Biden and Senate Democrats have been hard at work to ensure major oversight boards across sectors have responsible leadershipThus farwe have confirmed qualified, diverse leaders to the following:

Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigations Board

Civil Rights Cold Case Records Review Board

Commodities Future Trading Commission

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Export-Import Bank Board of Directors

Federal Communications Commission

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Federal Maritime Commission

Federal Trade Commission

National Labor Relations Board

National Mediation Board

National Transportation and Safety Board

Postal Board of Governors

Postal Regulatory Commission

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Securities and Exchange Commission

Surface Transportation Board

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