Trump Judicial Nominees Are 85 Percent White and 76 Percent Men, Report Shows

U.S. President Donald Trump's nominees to appellate and district courts are mostly white men, according to a recent report by the progressive judicial advocacy group the Alliance for Justice.

It has been one of the most prolific administrations in terms of judicial appointments in recent history, according to the White House. Among circuit courts, those which refer cases to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Trump has appointed about one in four federal judges.

Trump has said he selects judges based on their commitment to upholding the rule of law, but civil rights groups fear his Republican-appointed majorities on key judicial panels across the country will turn back the clock on issues ranging from birth control to separation of church and state in 2020.

Trump Appoints Mostly White Judges
Brett Kavanaugh, right, flanked by, from left, John Roberts, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch attend Donald Trump's at State of the Union address on February 5, 2019. Trump appointed Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, cementing the conservative tilt of the Supreme Court. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

According to the Federal Judicial Center, 185 Trump-appointed judges have been confirmed to the federal bench, including two Supreme Court justices, dozens of Circuit Court judges and more than 100 District Court judges.

According to Alliance for Justice, nearly 76 percent of them are men, and more than 85 percent are white.

Notably, Trump appointed two white men, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, to the U.S. Supreme Court—cementing the conservative tilt of the country's highest judiciary body. Since the president took office, the court has upheld partisan gerrymandering, certain types of discrimination based on sexuality and Trump's travel ban on majority-Muslim countries.

According to the Brookings Institution, Trump has reversed President Barack Obama's tendency to appoint judges who are not white men to the federal courts. Indeed, 58 percent of Obama's nominees were male, and 64 percent were white, according to Alliance for Justice. Percentage-wise, Trump has appointed more white men to the federal bench than the previous three administrations.

Trump also "flipped" three circuit courts of appeals with his nominations, rendering them GOP-appointed majorities, according to the Alliance for Justice report. One of those appellate judges, Steven Menashi, a white man, faced criticism in the fall of 2019 for some of his writings as a student at Dartmouth that denounced sexual assault protests and LGBTQ rights groups.

Other Trump appointees have defended the use of torture, blamed sexual assault victims for their own attacks and eroded environmental protections before wearing into their posts, according to Alliance for Justice.

The 2nd Circuit, on which Menashi presides, did not immediately respond to calls requesting comment, but Menashi has said he regrets some of his past writings. The White House also did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.