Biden secures 100th US Judge, blunting Trump’s impact on bench

Posted by News Express | 15 February 2023 | 389 times

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•File photo of US Justice, Gina Mendez-Miro


The US Senate on Tuesday confirmed the 100th federal judge appointed by Joe Biden, as the president attempts to dilute the impact his predecessor Donald Trump had on the courts.

Under the US Constitution, presidents appoint Supreme Court justices and federal judges for life, with Congress’ upper chamber confirming or rejecting the nominee.

In theory, judges are politically impartial, but their previous decisions and the president who appointed them generally shed some light on their beliefs and leanings.

Gina Mendez-Miro, a 49-year-old lawyer, became the latest judge confirmed to the US Federal Court for the District of Puerto Rico, after a 54-45 vote Tuesday in the Senate.

Because Democrats have controlled the Senate throughout Biden’s presidency, he has been able to vet nominees like Mendez-Miro at an accelerated pace.

In an effort to increase diversity in the judiciary, Biden has put forth candidates with traditionally underrepresented backgrounds: three quarters have been women and only one-third have been white, according to the American Constitution Society.

He additionally nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court, marking the first time a Black woman was named to the bench.

Mendez-Miro will make history as the first LGBT American on the Puerto Rico District Court, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Americans “should trust that they will get a fair shake in the dispensation of justice,” he said in a statement.

White men

The diversity push is a complete reversal from Trump’s four-year presidency: The Republican appointed more than 230 judges to the federal courts, three-quarters of whom were men and 85 percent of whom were white.

And his criteria differed from Biden: To please his base, Trump promised to choose judges who opposed abortion, supported carrying firearms and defended religious freedoms.

The 45th president left a lasting mark on the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, where he appointed three of its nine justices, steering the court clearly rightward.

In June the reshaped Supreme Court overturned the national right to an abortion, expanded gun rights and limited the government’s ability to fight global warming.

Determined to counter the US judiciary’s sudden tack to the right, Biden is moving quickly — with 50 more federal judge nominees awaiting confirmation.

To help assure their replacements are appointed while a Democrat is president, several liberal-leaning judges have either retired or “taken senior status” — a process by which their seat is vacated and they have the option to handle a lighter caseload. (AFP via Channels)

Source: News Express

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