Federal Courts and Nominations

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Sign-On Letter Prioritizing Diverse Judges

Dear Senator,

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the undersigned 108 organizations, we write to highlight the urgency of continuing the progress you have made towards building a federal judiciary that lives up to its promise of equal justice for all. As we begin the second session of the 118th Congress, we know that time is of the essence. We urge you to fill each of the nearly 100 lifetime judicial vacancies with experientially and demographically diverse nominees committed to civil and human rights.

The civil rights community has spent decades advocating for a diverse federal judiciary that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and powerful. The progress over the last few years, thanks to the leadership of President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Durbin, is remarkable. To date, the Senate has confirmed 168 lifetime federal judges during the Biden administration, including 108 women and 111 people of color. Nearly half of these confirmed judges possess significant experience protecting civil and human rights. This matters because diversity increases trust and public confidence in our courts and improves judicial decision-making by making sure more viewpoints are heard. Our democracy is stronger for it, but the work is not yet finished and there is no time to lose.

In 2024, the Senate must make it a priority to fill every vacancy on our federal courts with individuals who have a demonstrated commitment to civil and human rights, possess diverse professional experiences including public interest work for social and economic justice, are fair-minded, possess a progressive vision of the law and Constitution, and are reflective and representative of the vast and rich diversity of our country. With nearly 100 lifetime judicial vacancies across the nation, the work of building an equal justice judiciary must accelerate. Dozens of these vacancies do not yet have named nominees, including many in Southern and Midwestern states where we have seen a rise in threats to civil and human rights that deeply impact our communities. Our access to justice — and to federal courts staffed with fairminded judges — should not depend on where we live.

We recognize the many important issues Congress must focus on this year, but we urge you to make this work a top priority. The federal judges you recommend and confirm this year will serve for decades to come, making these nominations a deeply important part of your legacy. We urge you to continue this historic and necessary work by prioritizing filling every judicial vacancy with nominees who are committed to civil and human rights and who reflect the rich diversity of our nation. We look forward to working with you to continue building a federal judiciary that lives up to its promise of equal justice for all.


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
A Better Balance: The Work & Family Legal Center
Alliance for Justice
American Atheists
American Constitution Society
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers
American Humanist Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Americans for Financial Reform
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
CASA, Inc.
Center for American Progress
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Freethought Equality
Center for Popular Democracy
Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Responsible Lending
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Committee for a Fair Judiciary
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Constitutional Accountability Center
Defending Rights & Dissent
Demand Justice
Disability Rights Advocates
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
End Citizens United//Let America Vote Action Fund
Endangered Species Coalition
Faiths for Safe Water
Feminist Majority Foundation
FFRF Action Fund
Greenpeace USA
Hip Hop Caucus
Human Rights Campaign
Interfaith Alliance