Read a PDF of our statement here.

On November 7, 2023, the United States Senate confirmed the 150th judicial nominee of the Biden administration, marking another historic achievement in filling vacancies on the federal bench. The judges appointed by President Biden represent a diverse breadth of candidates, with a record number of people of color, women, and women of color, including Black women — the latter of which have had more confirmations to the federal bench than during any previous president’s full tenure in office. In addition, many of the judges confirmed bring much-needed professional diversity to the bench, including service as public defenders and civil rights lawyers. Of the 150 judicial confirmations, 100 are women, 98 are people of color, 49 are Black, and 32 are Black women.  

LDF President and Director-Counsel Janai Nelson and Associate Director-Counsel Tona Boyd issued the following statements in response to the milestone:    

Nelson:  

“We commend the Biden administration and the U.S. Senate on the significant milestone of confirming 150 judges to the federal bench, with an impressive group of jurists who bring rich expertise, backgrounds, and life experiences to the judiciary. We applaud the work of the administration to increase the professional and demographic diversity of the judicial bench and know this will have a resounding impact. Federal judges are critical to the preservation of our democracy and make decisions which have lasting implications for people’s civil rights and everyday lives. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration and the Senate to continue the progress in confirming nominees who exemplify the best of our country’s legal profession and to fill every vacant seat.”  

Boyd:  

“Our courts should reflect the vibrant diversity of our nation, both in demographics and in range of legal experience. We laud the Biden administration and U.S. Senate for changing the face of the federal bench — with historic confirmations that include a record number of Black judges — particularly Black women, including the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. More Black women were appointed to the federal circuit courts during the Biden administration than all prior presidents combined. Our country is enriched by the contributions of these distinguished jurists. We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration and Senate to make meaningful progress in building a judiciary that reflects the rich demographic diversity that characterizes the tapestry that defines our multiracial, multiethnic democracy.”    

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Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.  

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