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Progressives Want Professional Diversity In Judiciary

Back view of a young judge

January 13, 2021

According to activists who watched President Trump fill the courts with conservative judges, the entire federal judiciary from the district level on up is overloaded with judges who were former criminal prosecutors, or former partners at prestigious law firms that represent corporate clients (sometimes both). They are pressing President-elect Biden to appoint more public interest or civil rights advocates, labor and consumer lawyers, and public defenders. Former Sen. Russ Feingold, the president of the American Constitution Society, a progressive legal organization with local chapters across the country, says his group is pushing for a new approach to picking judicial nominees. The ACS has sent Biden’s transition team a list of potential nominees to the district and appellate courts. About half are the type that activists say would provide some “professional diversity” on the bench.

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