The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Gina Méndez-Miró to be U.S. district court judge for Puerto Rico Tuesday. She makes history as the first LGBTQ+ judge on the court. She also makes history as President Joe Biden’s 100th confirmed judge.
President Biden celebrated it, too. “I’m especially proud that the nominees I have put forward—and the Senate has confirmed—represent the diversity that is one of our best assets as a nation, and that our shared work has broken so many barriers in just 2 years,” he said in a statement.
“I have appointed more federal circuit judges with experience as public defenders than all prior presidents combined,” Biden continued.
“Seventy-six percent of the Article III judges confirmed during my Administration have been women, and 68% have been people of color. I was proud to nominate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and I am also proud to have confirmed 12 Black women to serve on federal circuit courts—more than all other Presidents combined.”
It’s all true—76% of the Biden judges confirmed are women, and 68% are people of color. They comprise 69 district court judges, 30 circuit court judges, and of course, Justice Jackson. They come from a variety of professional backgrounds, as Biden boasted. “I have appointed more federal circuit judges with experience as public defenders than all prior presidents combined.”
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also took a deserved victory lap on the floor.
“Because of the work done by this majority, our federal judiciary is far more balanced, far more diverse, far more experienced than the one we had just two years ago,” Schumer said. “And it’s something every American can be proud of.”
Also, it’s worth noting that by this point in Trump’s term, he had only 85 confirmed judges. Granted, there were some real doozies—more that had been deemed unqualified to serve by the American Bar Association than any other president has nominated.
The project of rebuilding the judiciary from all that is a long-term one, but that’s pretty much all the Senate needs to prioritize for the next two years. So they should ditch the archaic tradition that’s letting Republicans veto more of his nominees.