Monday, July 15, 2019

President Carter and the Courts

Slate has an interesting piece on President Carter's approach to filling judicial vacancies: Some points:

  • he was able to persuade Sen. Eastland to support a judicial commission to pick appeals court judges.
  • the result was diversity:
When Carter took office, just eight women had ever been appointed to one of the 500 federal judgeships in the country. (For the purposes of this article, I’m referring to the district courts, appellate courts, and the Supreme Court.) Carter appointed 40 women, including eight women of color. Similarly, before Carter, just 31 people of color had been confirmed to federal courts, often over Eastland’s strenuous disapproval. The peanut farmer from Plains appointed 57 minorities to the judiciary. (He also had more robes to fill: A 1978 bill expanded the federal judiciary by 33 percent, or 152 seats.)
Justices Breyer and Ginsburg were Carter nominees for appeals courts.

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