WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Feb. 14, the U.S. Senate voted 54-45 to confirm President Joe Biden’s 100th judicial nominee, Gina R. Méndez-Miró, to be a district court judge in Puerto Rico. Including this confirmation, Biden and Senate Democrats have confirmed 69 district court judges, 30 appellate court judges and one U.S. Supreme Court justice. With the confirmation of Mendez-Miro, Democrats reached an important milestone in their effort to bring balance and diversity to federal courts across the country.
Notably, Biden’s nominations will change the composition of the federal judiciary to be more diverse in terms of racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as professional backgrounds. According to a press release by Senate Democrats, 68% of the federal bench nominees confirmed by the Senate have been people of color and 76% have been women. In terms of professional experience, Sahil Kapur of NBC News reports that “Biden has picked unusually high numbers of public defenders, civil rights lawyers and labor lawyers compared to his predecessors from both parties.”
Filling judicial vacancies in federal courts is crucial as conservatives have packed the courts for years. While 86 vacancies for both federal district and appellate courts still remain, today it is clear that progress to fill these vacancies with younger and more diverse judges is being made.