President Joe Biden on Tuesday appointed several black women, an Asian American and the first Muslim to federal judge positions in an effort for diversity in the U.S. justice system.
Breaking with his predecessor Donald Trump’s four-year effort to endow federal courts with predominantly white conservatives, Biden unveiled his top 11 choices for judges, including just two men, neither white.
High on his list was the appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is African-American, to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, known to handle major cases.
If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson, 50, would replace Merrick Garland – who is now Biden’s attorney general – and would be well placed to run for the Supreme Court if there is a vacancy.
No black woman has yet served on the High Court of nine judges.
“Ketanji Jackson Brown is one of the best judges in the country. Brilliant and with deep values. That she now joins our second highest court is fair and brilliant, ”tweeted Neal Katyal, former acting US solicitor general at the Department of Justice. .
Biden has appointed two more African-American women to vacant federal appeals court positions.
Of those selected for federal district courts, two others were African Americans (one was male), two were Asian Americans, one was Hispanic, and two were white women.
Zahid Quraishi, 45, would become the first Muslim to serve as a federal district judge if approved by the Senate.
Quraishi is of Pakistani descent and is currently a magistrate in New Jersey.
“Judge Quraishi has defended and served our country with distinction in many roles – and he will make history if he is confirmed as the first American Muslim federal judge,” said New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
The appointments as a whole “represent the great diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives that make our nation strong,” Biden said in a statement.
The group is also diverse in its origins, including candidates with experience as public defenders, who provide free legal advice to those who cannot afford it but face civil or criminal prosecution.
Under the U.S. Constitution, the president appoints people to serve on the Supreme Court and other federal courts for life, and the Senate votes on whether to confirm them.
Trump managed to win the nomination of more than 200 Tory judges during his tenure, working closely with then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on an issue dear to American Tories for decades.
This includes three Supreme Court justices appointed by Trump.
© 2021 AFP