Federal Bench Needs Judicial Nominees With Consumer, Worker Perspective
The Need For Judicial Nominees With Greater Professional Diversity
A group of 24 organizations today called on President Biden to nominate jurists to the federal courts who reflect a commitment to professional diversity and to reach beyond the large legal firms that often furnish many judicial nominees.
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“To serve economic and racial justice in general and financial reform in particular, we need judicial nominees with greater professional diversity, and especially more judicial nominees with direct experience representing consumers and workers and a deeper understanding of how the justice system works for everyday people,” said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel, Americans for Financial Reform. “Consumer attorneys, legal aid lawyers, public defenders and other lawyers with a track record of working in the public interests will bring invaluable perspectives to a judiciary whose decisions will have a profound impact on everyday people but is too often dominated by nominees from elite law firms.”
A copy of the letter can be found below.
Letter To President Biden
Counsel to the President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear Ms. Remus,
The 24 undersigned consumer, civil rights, community, housing, and other public interest organizations applaud the White House for moving swiftly on judicial nominations and putting forth 11 accomplished and diverse candidates in your announcement last week. We appreciate your statements on nominating professionally and demographically diverse candidates to fill federal judicial vacancies, and strongly urge you to prioritize both professional and demographic diversity for all future judicial nominations.
Historically, the vast majority of judicial nominations from both parties have been overwhelmingly corporate attorneys and prosecutors. As a result, the federal courts are packed with corporate lawyers turned judges, which has a tangible impact on justice in this country. Many low-income consumers and workers face significant limitations in their pursuit of justice because almost all of the decision makers in the federal judiciary have no experience representing people like them. Lawyers who have spent their careers developing an in-depth understanding of the legal needs of everyday people are systematically underrepresented on the federal bench. It is critical that future nominees possess the necessary skills, experience, and perspective that can only be gained by representing the rights of consumers and workers. The only hope of restoring balance to the federal judiciary lies within the White House’s commitment to put forward a more representative slate of federal judicial nominees in the months and years to come.
While your first batch of judicial nominees took some important steps necessary to create a more diverse and balanced federal judiciary, we remain concerned that it did not include anyone with genuine experience representing consumers and workers, but instead continued the historic pattern of drawing nominees from big corporate law firms. We hope that future nominees will include people with this crucial experience, and look forward to supporting the administration in the goal of moving towards a fairer justice system.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Jun at [email protected]
Americans for Financial Reform
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Justice and Democracy
Community Christian Legal Aid
Connecticut Fair Housing Center
Empire Justice Center
Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid
Massachusetts Communities Action Network
Mobilization for Justice
Mountain State Justice, Inc.
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients)
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Fair Housing Alliance
Public Good Law Center
Public Law Center
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center