GOP lawmaker castigates Joe Biden for not nominating enough straight white men to judiciary

Rep. Glenn Grothman
Rep. Glenn Grothman Photo: U.S. House

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) aired a complaint about the federal judiciary: there are too many Black and brown people, women, and gays being appointed by President Joe Biden.

“Of the 97 federal judges [appointed by Biden] I was expecting maybe 25 or 30 were white guys, because I know President Biden wasn’t heavy on appointing more white guys,” he said in a floor speech yesterday. Non-Hispanic white people make up 58.7% of the U.S. population, according to the 2020 Census, and about half of the population is men.

“Five of the 97 judges were white guys. Of those, two were gay,” he complained. “So almost impossible for a white guy who’s not gay, apparently, to get appointed here.”

It’s not known where he got his numbers. Biden has had 129 nominees confirmed so far in his first term. About two-thirds were women and two-thirds were people of color, according to Balls and Strikes. Eight were out as LGBTQ+.

The Biden administration has been open about the fact that it is trying to right the lack of diversity that already exists on the federal bench. The American Bar Association notes that 78% of federal judges are white and 70% are male, well above the percentages of white people and men found in the American population more generally.

Moreover, only 19 out of the 870 federal judgeships are filled by an out LGBTQ+ person. That’s around 2%, less than the 7.2% of Americans who identify as LGBTQ+, according to Gallup Poll.

This lack of diversity was only exacerbated by the Trump administration. Only one in six (16%) of the judges picked by Donald Trump were non-white, and only 24% of his nominees were women.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told NPR earlier this year that Biden has made diversity on the bench a “top priority.”

“When he talks about rights and liberties, he knows that in the end those rights and liberties are decided by federal judges, so the makeup of the federal judiciary is connected to everything else we do,” he said.

“We’ve confirmed 74 women as federal judges during this administration so far,” said White House lawyer Paige Herwig, who called it a “sea change” to make the judiciary more representative of the country. “That’s actually more than were confirmed during the four years of President Trump’s term or during the eight years of President George W. Bush’s administration.”

Grothman made headlines two years ago when he claimed that he was getting complaints about Cardi B’s and Megan Thee Stallion’s Grammy performance of “WAP.”

“I’ve received some complaints in my office, and rightfully so, about Cardi B and the Grammys,” Grothman said on the floor of the House. “They wonder why we are paying the FCC if they feel this should be in living rooms across the nation.”

Last year, he said it’s “horrible” when other countries see the rainbow flag being flown at U.S. embassies and that those countries will assume that homosexuality is “the secret to America’s wealth and prosperity.”

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