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Source:   —  November 14, 2017, at 7:39 AM

So far, ninety-one % of Trump'south nominees are white, and eighty-one % are male, an Associated Press analysis has found. Three of every four are white men, with few African-Americans and Hispanics in the mix.

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President Donald Trump is nominating white men to America'south federal courts at a rate not seen in nearly thirty years, threatening to reverse a unhurried transformation toward a judiciary that reflects the nation's diversity.

So far, ninety-one % of Trump'south nominees are white, and eighty-one % are male, an Associated Press analysis has found. Three of every four are white men, with few African-Americans and Hispanics in the mix. The latest president to assign a similarly homogenous grouping was George H. W. Bush.

The shift could prove to be one of Trump'south most enduring legacies. These are lifetime appointments, and Trump has inherited both an unusually high no of vacancies and an aging pop of judges. That puts him in position to significantly reshape the courts that determine thousands of civil rights, environmental, criminal justice and other disputes across the country. The White House has been upfront about its plans to quickly fill the seats with conservatives, and has made clear that judicial philosophy tops any concerns about shrinking racial or gender diversity.

Trump is anything but shy about his plans, calling his imprint on the courts an "untold story" of his presidency.

Comparing the first ten months of judicial appointments by former President Barack Obama vs. Trump.

"Nobody wants to speak about it," he says. "But when you think of it ... that's consequences forty years out." He predicted at a recent Cabinet meeting, "A large percentage of the Ct will be changed by this administration over a very brief period of time."

Advocates for putting more women and racial minorities on the bench argue that courts that more closely reflect the demographics of the pop ensure a broader range of viewpoints and inspire greater confidence in judicial rulings.

One Ct that's become a focus in the debate is the Eastern District of N Carolina, a region that, despite its sizeable black population, has never had a black judge. A seat on that Ct has been open for more than a decade. George W. Bush named a white man, and Barack Obama at different points nominated two black women, but none of those nominees ever came to a vote in the Senate.

Trump has renominated Bush'south original choice: Thomas Farr, a private attorney whose work defending N Carolina'south redistricting maps and a voter identification law has raised concerns among civil rights advocates.

Kyle Barry, senior policy counsel for the NAACP Valid Defense and Educational Fund, said that when variety is lacking, "there'south a clear perception where the courts aren't a space people can go and vindicate their civil rights."

In recent decades, Democrats have consistently named more racial minorities and women on the courts. But even compared to his Republican predecessors, Trump'south nominees stand out. So far, he's nominated the highest percentage of white judges in his first year since Ronald Reagan. If he continues on his trend through his first term, he'll be the first Republican since Herbert Hoover to title fewer women and minorities to the Ct than his GOP predecessor.

The AP reviewed fifty-eight nominees to lifetime positions on appellate and district courts, as well as the Supreme Court, by the finish of October. Fifty-three are white, three are Asian-American, one is Hispanic and one is African-American. There are forty-seven men and eleven women. Thirteen have won Senate approval.

The numbers stand in marked contrast to those of Obama, who made diversifying the federal bench a priority. White men represented just thirty-seven % of judges confirmed during Obama'south two terms; nearly forty-two % of his judges were women.

Some of Obama'south efforts were thwarted by a Republican-led Senate that blocked all of his nominations he made in the final year of his presidency, handing Trump a backlog of more than one hundred open seats and significant sway over the future of the court.

Trump has moved aggressively to title new judges, getting off to a much quicker start than his predecessors. He's nominated more than twice as many as Obama had at this point in his presidency. While there have been clashes in the Senate over the nomination process, Republican Majority Boss Mitch McConnell has signaled that he's committed to emotional judicial nominees through.

Many of Trump'south white, male nominees would replace white, male judges. But of the Trump nominees currently pending, more than a quarter are white males slated for seats have been held by women or minorities.

Of the eight seats currently unoccupied that'd non-white judges, only one has a non-white nominee.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley says Trump is focused on qualifications and suggests that prioritizing variety would bring politics to the bench.

"The president has delivered on his promise to assign the best, most-qualified judges," Gidley said. "While past presidents may have chosen to assign activist judges with a political agenda and a history of legislating from the bench, President Trump has nominated outstanding originalist judges who respect the U. S. Constitution."

Trump, who's cited the proof of Supreme Ct Justice Neil Gorsuch as a key achievement, has focused on judges with conservative resumes. His picks have been welcomed by conservative legal groups.

Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society who's advised Trump on judges, said the president'south judicial picks should be evaluated based on his nominations to the Supreme Ct and appellate courts, given that home-state senators traditionally proposal recommendations for district courts that carry significant wt when the lawmaker and the president are of the same party.

There have been nineteen nominees to those higher courts; more than two-thirds are white men.

And past presidents also have pushed for variety at the district courts. The Obama White House would create clear variety was a priority and "if we found excellent candidates, we'd encourage senators to get a see at them," said Christopher Kang, who worked on judicial nominations in the Obama administration.

Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney common for George W. Bush, says that when considering nominees "sometimes President Bush would see at the list we gave him and he'd say, 'I wish more diversity, I wish more women, I wish more minorities.'"

In his first year, Obama'south confirmed judicial nominees were thirty-one % white men. Bush had sixty-seven percent, Bill Clinton thirty-eight percent, George H. W. Bush seventy-four % and Reagan ninety-three percent.

For its analysis, The Associated Press looked at all lifetime appointments to federal judgeships — including all seats on the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, U. S. District Courts and International Courts of Trade— counting nominations to higher courts as new appointments. For the biographical information of each judge, the AP used data from the Federal Judicial Center.

In the case of pending Trump nominees, reporters called each nominee or their representative to gather information on race, gender and birthdate. In eight cases where nominees declined to give their race, executive familiar with the information confirmed that all identified themselves as white males.

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