WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement regarding the Judiciary Committee’s and Senate Democrats’ efforts to bring balance to the courts and confirm highly qualified judicial nominees during the 117th Congress. At the close of this Congress, the Senate has confirmed 97 lifetime judicial appointments, including one to the Supreme Court, 28 to the circuit courts, and 68 to the district courts—better than the first two years of the Obama and Trump Administrations:
“Despite the longest 50-50 Senate in history, the Judiciary Committee and Senate Democrats had enormous success when it came to judges. In total, the Committee voted to advance 126 Article III nominees—108 with bipartisan support—and the Senate confirmed 97 lifetime judicial appointments—90 with bipartisan support. Equally as important as the numbers, we saw diverse nominees confirmed—in both their professional and demographic background.
“And we are in a position to hit the ground running at the start of the 118th Congress. Our effort to bring balance to the courts has been one of this Senate’s truly great successes. And we will continue to build on those successes and help ensure the confirmation of highly qualified, demographically and professionally diverse judges.”
In total, the Committee held hearings for 136 Article III nominees, as well as 27 markups at which at least one Article III nominee received a vote. In total, the Committee voted to advance 126 Article III nominees: one to the Supreme Court, 36 to the circuit courts, and 89 to the district courts.
Of the 136 nominees who had a hearing in Committee this Congress: 94, or 69 percent, were women; 90, or 66 percent, were people of color; 61, or 45 percent, were women of color; nine, or seven percent, are part of the LGBTQ+ community; and at least 30 were public defenders, more than a dozen were civil rights lawyers, at least five were labor lawyers or others with a labor background, more than 25 were prosecutors, and at least 60 were sitting state and federal judges.
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