US Senate Confirms First Biden Judges To Federal Bench
Washington, June 9 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Jun, 2021 ) :The US Senate confirmed Joe Biden's first two judicial nominees onto Federal benches Tuesday, helping the president fulfill his priority to bring greater diversity to the nation's courts.
Julien Neals, who is African American, was confirmed on a 66-33 vote as the newest judge for the US District of New Jersey.
"They are both highly qualified, and they represent the diversity that is one of the ultimate strengths of our nation," Biden said.
"Other nominees are awaiting confirmation who also have bipartisan support, and I hope they will be rapidly confirmed as well." Democrats see Biden as seeking to rebalance the judiciary after four years of his predecessor Donald Trump.
The Republican ex-president left a wide footprint on the courts, winning confirmation of more than 230 judges, three-quarters of whom are men and 85 percent of whom are white, according to the American Constitution Society.
Trump openly declared to his voters that he would choose conservative judges who opposed abortion and defended gun rights.
They are "much more diverse and I think far more qualified than the narrow, rightwing people who Trump continued to pick." Democrats said they anticipate over 100 vacancies at the district and circuit court level that will need to be filled in coming months, out of the country's roughly 870 federal judgeships.
Along with judges stepping down to make way for Biden's picks, there is mounting pressure on progressive US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, to retire.
Since his inauguration, Biden has announced 20 nominations to fill vacant judgeships.
Among them are 16 females, who include Black and Native American women in addition to Rodriguez who has Mexican and Japanese heritage.
Neals, 56, graduated from historically black Morehouse College, and earned a law degree from Emory University. He served as a lawyer in private practice and as county counsel for New Jersey's Bergen County.
He became the face of Washington's partisan gridlock in 2015 when Barack Obama nominated him to the federal bench, only to see Neals languish for more than 670 days due to blocking tactics by Republicans.