Women in the Judiciary: a group I work with at the University of Virginia law school is hosting a panel on "Women in the Judiciary" later today. Two federal appellate judges and a justice from the Virginia Supreme Court will take questions for about an hour and half. Dahlia Lithwick (to whom this slightly scary fan blog is devoted) kindly agreed to moderate.

Preparing for the panel, I came across some interesting--though not terribly surprising--demographic information on women in the U.S. federal judiciary. The Federal Judiciary Center has a nice database (look for the Federal Judges Biographical Database) that lets you search for information about federal judges using about a dozen different variables, including who nominated them and when. I ran a search on "Nominating President" and "Gender" and got these results:

From Kennedy to Ford, there were a total of six women appointed to the federal bench; Carter appointed 40 women out of 257 total appointments, Regan 29/372, Bush 36/211, Clinton 104/367, and Bush II 29/144 (so far).

Note that Clinton appointed almost as many women to the bench as all of the presidents before him combined. Looking at the percentages, about 28% of Clinton's nominees were women, which roughly equals the percentage of women in the legal profession. (For statistics on the number of women in the legal profession in the U.S., go here.) W's numbers are lower than Clinton's to date, though, given the growth of women in the profession, one would hope the numbers would go up.

No comments: