USA Today Sees a Theme in Trump's Judicial Picks

Of 87 nominees, 80 are white
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2018 4:26 PM CST
In this Jan. 31, 2017, file photo, President Trump shakes hands with Neil Gorsuch, who would later join the Supreme Court.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – President Trump nominated nine judges on Monday to federal courts, and a former Obama deputy counsel tweeted this in reaction: "Surprise!" wrote Christopher Kang. "All 9 of Trump's judicial nominees today appear to be white." USA Today dug into the numbers and discovered that Kang's sarcasm has some solid stats to back it up. Of the president's first 87 nominees, 80 are white. Of the rest, five are Asian-American, one is African-American, and one is Hispanic. Trump's 92% rate of picking white judges is close to Ronald Reagan's mark of 94%. In contrast, more than one-third of Obama judges were minorities.

The AP conducted a similar analysis in late 2017 and observed that, because these are lifetime appointments, the shift toward white judges could end up being "one of Trump's most enduring legacies." Two big factors: Trump is dealing with more vacancies than usual as well was a relatively old population of sitting judges. The White House has made clear that Trump wants to fill seats as quickly as he can with conservative judges, and "that judicial philosophy tops any concerns about shrinking racial or gender diversity," per the AP. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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