Biden has installed the most non-white judges of any president

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President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden. (File photo by Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

In 3-1/2 years, President Biden has already installed more non-white federal judges than any president in history. His slate of judges is also majority female—another first.

As Biden and former president Donald Trump barrel toward a fall rematch, the Washington Post is examining the numbers behind their time as president. In this case, we reviewed their approaches to nominating federal judges, who enjoy lifetime tenure once confirmed by the Senate.

Across the Supreme Court, circuit and district courts, 65% of Trump’s appointments are white men. Just 13% of Biden’s Senate-confirmed appointments so far are white men, according to a Post analysis of self-reported race and ethnicity data from the Federal Judicial Center.

“I’m particularly proud that these judges reflect the diversity that is our country’s strength,” Biden said in a February statement after his 175th judge was confirmed.

The Senate confirmed three more Biden judges this week, so he is now just shy of his 200th confirmation. The president will need significant Senate action in coming months to match Trump’s pace filling the federal bench. Trump appointed a record 237 federal judges during his term, including three Supreme Court justices.

Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate worked efficiently to fill a glut of vacancies the GOP had held open at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. The resulting conservative influence, most notably on the Supreme Court where it led to the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, could endure for decades.


As of mid-May, Biden remains the only president in history to install more women than men on the federal bench. More than 6 in 10 Biden-appointed judges are women.

The Senate confirmed as many non-white women to the federal bench in Biden’s first year as it did for his predecessor in his entire four-year term.

Obama is the only president who has appointed more women to the bench: 138 judges in his entire eight years as president. Biden is about a dozen short of that total as he nears the end of his first term.


Since judges enjoy lifelong appointments, the age at nomination is a strategic consideration for presidents aiming for a lasting impact on the judiciary. For both Trump and Biden, roughly half of judges put forward by either president were under 50 years old at the time they were confirmed. Trump had 16 judges under 40 and Biden had six.

Tobi Raji contributed to this report.

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