With 100 judges confirmed, Biden wants to dilute Trump's brand on the courts

With 100 confirmed judges, Biden wants to dilute Trump's brand on the courts


The United States Senate on Tuesday confirmed the 100th federal judge nominated by Joe Biden who, with diversity as a credo, is attempting to dilute the conservative imprint left on the courts by his predecessor Donald Trump. 

Gina Mendez-Miro, a 49-year-old lawyer, won the support of 54 senators on 100 and will become a magistrate in the federal court of Puerto Rico.

Specialist in labor law, Hispanic and lesbian, she embodies these new profiles put forward by the Democratic president who, in a press release, said he was “proud” to have promoted candidates “representing the diversity” of the States United States.

“76 % of confirmed judges under my administration are women and 68 % people of color,” he noted, pointing out that he also chose atypical careers with experience in the defense of disadvantaged people, for example.

He also brought, for the first time in history, a black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the Supreme Court.

According to the American Constitution, the president appoints for life the judges of the Court supreme and the federal magistrates. It is then up to the Upper House of Congress to confirm this choice by a vote.

With Democrats in control of the Senate for two years, Joe Biden was able to validate his candidates at an accelerated pace. At this stage of his mandate, Donald Trump had only been able to confirm “only” 85 judges.

Having retained the Senate in the November elections, Joe Biden will be able to continue at this rate until 2024 . After Ms. Mendez-Miro, the senators have also confirmed two other of her candidates.

White men

Her interest in diversity represents a major reversal: in four years, Donald Trump has brought more than 230 judges into federal courts, three-quarters of them men and 85% white people.

His criteria were elsewhere: to please his conservative voters, the Republican had promised to choose magistrates opposed to abortion, defenders of the carrying of arms and of religious freedoms.

He has thus left a lasting mark on the judicial system, the effects of which are particularly felt at the Supreme Court, which has veered sharply to the right since its reshuffle.

In June, the high court, of which he renewed a third of the Elders, dynamited the right to abortion, extended the right to carry a firearm and limited the means of the federal government in the fight against global warming.< /p>

To reverse the trend, Joe Biden is acting fast. About fifty judges chosen by him await their confirmation.

To give him room for manoeuvre, several judges of Democratic sensibility have retired or taken early retirement. At present, nearly 90 seats, out of the approximately 870 in total, are to be filled.

Legal shopping

If he competes with Donald Trump in terms of pace, however, Joe Biden does not have the same impact as his predecessor, because the Republican was able to replace judges appointed by Democratic presidents, thus changing the political coloring of the courts.

During his tenure, three of the thirteen influential federal appeals courts have gone from a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents to a majority of magistrates chosen by Republican presidents.

Joe Biden is on his way to “take back” one, only.

Donald Trump was able to have this impact, because the Republicans, who had taken over the upper house in 2014, had blocked a large part of the judges chosen by Barack Obama in the last two years of his mandate.

A hundred positions were therefore to be filled when Donald Trump entered the White House.

These political games have undermined the impartiality of US courts and reinforced “judicial shopping”, which consists of strategically filing a complaint in a specific court.

Last example to date: opponents of abortion have filed an abortion pill lawsuit in Amarillo, Texas, where the only federal judge, appointed by Don ald Trump, is known for his ultraconservative views. Their hope? That it ban mifepristone (or RU 486) throughout the United States.