Judiciary

Women's Representation in the Judiciary

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

Out of the 114 justices that have served on the Supreme Court, there have only been four women - three of whom are currently on the bench. Fifty nine of the 167 active judges currently sitting on the thirteen federal courts of appeal are female (35%).

These numbers are even worse for women of color

Women of color are less represented than any other demographic group, as their numbers (at the state level) represent a mere 40% of their relative numbers in the general population. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the first and only woman of color to sit on the Supreme Court. 

Is representation improving?

When in office, President Obama facilitated significant progress for women judges and more than doubled the number of women of color to federal judicial positions. 42 percent of his confirmed nominees to federal courts were women. 

Unfortunately, this progress does not seem to be continuing under President Trump, who has appointed 84 active federal judges, with only 20 of them being women. 

The Brennan Center for Justice tracks best practices to get more women into judicial offices in the United States.

RepresentWomen is working with a team of attorneys from We The Action to craft innovative strategies to increase the number of women in elected and appointed judicial positions in the United States.

Learn more about women in the judiciary

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Sources: National Women's Law Center, The Gavel Gap, Alliance for Justice, Federal Judicial Center, National Association of Women Judges
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