The Judiciary: By The Numbers

Women's Representation in the Judiciary


Women attend law school at greater rates than men but are underrepresented as judges

Out of the 115 justices that have served on the Supreme Court, there have only been five women - three of whom are currently on the bench. Sixty-five of the 175 active judges currently sitting on the federal circuit courts are female (37%).

These numbers are even worse for women of color

Women of color are less represented than any other demographic group. In April 2022, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was the first African-American woman confirmed to the Supreme Court. Previously, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the first and only woman of color to sit on the Supreme Court. 

Is representation improving?

As of January 2022, President Biden has 42 confirmed federal judges with 78.6% of them being women. His predecessors confirmed women 42% (Obama) and 24% (Trump) of the time. 

Sources:  Center for American ProgressAmerican Constitution Society, National Association of Women Judges, The Gavel GapEnjurisU.S. Supreme CourtCenter for American Progress