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Nearly all of Trump's judicial nominees are white men, most in decades

He's bringing the U.S. back to the Herbert Hoover era.
trump, trump timeline, trump tweets
This timeline is just a small portion of what President Trump has done, said and tweeted in the year since he was elected. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ninety-one percent of Trump's nominees for federal judgeships are white and 81% are male, the highest percentage of white men in 30 years, a survey by the Associated Press has found.

Trump has called his efforts to shape the courts an "untold story" of his presidency.

"Nobody wants to talk about it," he says. "But when you think of it ... that has consequences 40 years out." At a recent Cabinet meeting, he predicted, "A big percentage of the court will be changed by this administration over a very short period of time."

Out of 58 nominees to lifetime positions on appellate and district courts, and the Supreme Court, 53 are white, three are Asian-American, one is Hispanic and one is African American, the AP found. Forty-seven are men; 11 are women. Thirteen have been confirmed by the Senate.

President Obama made diversifying the court a priority during his two terms in office. Only 37 percent of his confirmed nominees were white men. Nearly 42 percent of his approved judges were women.

If Trump's nomination trends continue, he'll be the first president since Herbert Hoover to name fewer women and minorities to the bench than his Republican predecessor, the AP says.

Trump has an unusual opportunity to reshape the judicial landscape. The Republican-controlled Senate blocked all of Obama's judicial nominees in the last year of his term, creating more than 100 open positions for Trump to fill. And Trump has moved with unusual speed: He has appointed twice as many judges as Obama had at this point in his first term.

Kyle Barry, senior policy counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said that without diversity among judges, "there's a clear perception where the courts are not a place people can go and vindicate their civil rights."

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley says Trump is focused on qualifications. "The president has delivered on his promise to nominate the best, most-qualified judges," said Gidley. "While past presidents may have chosen to nominate 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."