(Washington) The US Senate on Tuesday approved by a large majority the appointment of a first judge to be chosen by Joe Biden, who wants to infuse more diversity into the federal justice system after more than 200 appointments of his predecessor Donald Trump.
Julian Xavier Niles confirmed by 66 votes, including 17 Republicans, to 33, that he would become a federal judge in his state of New Jersey.
The 56-year-old, former private-sector attorney and then New Jersey District Attorney, became in 2015 one of the emblems of paralysis caused by deep political divisions in Washington under Barack Obama.
He was appointed by the latter to be a federal judge in New Jersey, and Republicans had blocked his nomination for several months, until it was rescinded with the arrival of the new Congress under Donald Trump 2017.
This is a historic appointment and an important first step in rebalancing the US federal courts, which are filled with right-wing ideologues and political extremists.
Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey, was elected to the House of Representatives
The Senate should confirm in the afternoon another judge of Joe Biden’s choice, Regina Rodriguez, a 57-year-old attorney of Mexican and Japanese descent.
Since his inauguration, Joe Biden has already appointed twenty judges to fill vacant seats on the federal courts.
According to the White House, the Democratic president is “convinced that the federal justice system must represent the nation’s diversity, both in terms of personal and professional experience.”
Complete transformation of Trump
Her choice, which includes the vast majority of women and shows great diversity, is a complete turnaround from its predecessor.
In four years, Donald Trump has brought more than 230 judges to the federal courts, three-quarters of whom are men and 85% are white, according to the American Constitution Association.
As these positions are for life, the former president will leave a lasting imprint on the justice system.
Determined to dilute his influence, Joe Biden is acting fast, in order to get as many confirmations as before the 2022 midterm elections that could lead to him losing control of the Senate. In the United States, the Constitution requires that judges selected by the president obtain approval by the Senate.