Black and Hispanic Federal Judges: 1900 to Present

This report shows that in recent years, attention has increasingly focused upon the minority composition of the Federal judiciary, in apparent response to concerns that judges appointed to the Federal bench should more compositely reflect the U.S. population they serve. Two of the larger U.S. subpopulations served by the Federal judiciary are blacks and Hispanics. Accordingly, this mini brief lists chronologically and cumulatively the appointments of blacks and Hispanics to the Federal bench, which includes the U.S.Supreme Court, Circuit Courts of Appeals, and District courts.

B L A C K A N D H I S P A N I C F E D E R A L JUDGES: 1900 TO PRESENT MINI B R I E F NUMBER M B 8 1 2 3 9 AUTHOR: B a i l e y , D o r o t h y J. Government Division T H E L I B R A R Y OF C O N G R E S S CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE MAJOR I S S U E S S Y S T E M D A T E O R I G I N A T E D 06/02/81 D A T E U P D A T E D 08/09/83 F O R A D D I T I O N A L I N F O R M A T I O N C A L L 287-5700 0811 CRS- 1 ISSUE DEFINITION In recent years, attention has increasingly focused upon the minority composition of the Federal judiciary, in apparent response to concerns that judges appointed to the Federal bench should more compositely reflect the U.S. population they serve. Two of the larger U.S. subpopulations served by the Federal judiciary are blacks and Hispanics. Accordingly, this mini brief lists chronologically and cumulatively the appointments of blacks and Hispanics to the Federal bench, which inciudes the U.S.Supreme Court, Circuit Courts of Appeals, and District courts. BACKGROUND Since 1789 when the first appointment to the Federal bench was made by President George Washington, there have been 55 blacks appointed to Federal court judgeships, including 4 7 males and eight females, and 28 Hispanics, including 27 males and one female, out of a n approximate total number of 2,300 appointments. It appears reasonably certain that the first Hispanic Federal judge was appointed in 1900 by President William McKinley to the District Court of Puerto Rico and that the first black was appointed i n 1937 by President Franklin Roosevelt to the District Court of the Virgin Islands. Only one black has been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court; Thurgood Barshall, who presently serves on that court. To date, no Hispanic has been appointed to the Supreme Court. Some judges have served on more than one Federal court; usually, they were appointed to District coyrts and then elevated to Appeals courts. Data on black and Hispanic Federal judges are presented include information on year of appointment, Court appointing of appointee, and State or jurisdiction of court. separately President, and sex CRS- 2 TABLE 1. Names Black Federal Judges court Year Appt'd by William H. Hastie 1/ District Ct. Ct. of Appeals 1937 1949 Roosevelt James Benton Parson District Ct. 1961 Kennedy Wade H. McCree, Jr. District Ct. Ct. of Appeals 1961 1966 Kennedy Johnson Thurgood Marshall Ct. of Appeals Supreme Court 1961 1967 ~enned; Johnson Spottswood W. Robinson District Ct. ~ t .of Appeals 1963 1966 Kennedy Johnson A. Leon District Ct. Higginbotham, Ct. of Appeals Jr. 1963 1977 Kennedy Carter William District Ct. Benson Bryant 1965 Johnson Constance District Ct. Baker Motley* 1966 Johnson Aubrey Eugene Robinson District Ct. 1966 Johnson District Ct. 1967 Johnson Damon Jerome Keith District Ct. Ct. of Appeals 1967 1977 Johnson Carter David W. Williams District Ct. 1969 Nixon District Ct. 1969 Nixon . Joseph C. Waddy Almeric Christian 2 / NOTE: Footnotes a t end of table. Jurisdiction vI MB81239 CRS- 3 Names court Year Appt'd by Jurisdiction Barrington Daniels Parker District Ct. Nixon DC Warren Lawrence Pierce District Ct. Ct. of Appeals Nixon Reagan NY Clifford Scott Green District Ct. Nixon PA Robert Lee Carter District Ct. Nixon NY Robert Duncan District Ct. Nixon OH Henry Bramwell District Ct. Ford NY Cecil Poole District Ct. Ct. of Appeals Ford Carter CA George Leighton District Ct. Ford Julian Cooke District Ct. Carter MI Robert Collins District Ct. Carter LA Jack Tanner District Ct. Carter WA Theodore McMillian ct. of Appeals Carter MO Mary Johnson Lowe* District Ct. Carter NY . IL Paul Simmons District Ct. Carter PA John Penn District Ct. Carter DC David Nelson District Ct. Carter MA Gabrielle McDonald* District Ct. Carter TX NOTE: Footnotes at end of table. UPDATE-08/09/83 CRS- 4 Names court Year Appt'd by Jurisdiction Amalya Kearse* Ct. of Appeals Carter NY Joseph Hatchett Ct. of Appeals Carter FL Nathaniel Jones Ct. of Appeals Carter OH Jerome J. Farris Ct. of Appeals Carter WA Matthew Perry District Ct. Carter SC Benjamin Gibson District Ct. Carter MI Joseph Howard District Ct. Carter MD Anna Diggs* Taylor District Ct. Carter MI Alcee Hastings District Ct. carter FL Ann Thompson* District Ct. carter NJ James Giles District Ct. carter PA Horace Ward District Ct. carter GA Terry Hatter District Ct. Carter CA Odell Horton District Ct. Carter TN Norma Johnson* District Ct. Carter DC Harry Edwards Ct. of Appeals Carter DC George White District Ct. carter OH Clyde Cahill District Ct. Carter MO Thelton Henderson District Ct. carter CA U.W. District Ct. Carter AL Clemon - NOTE: - Footnotes at end of table. CRS- 5 Names Court Year Appt'd by Jurisdiction Earl Gilliam District Ct. 1980 Carter CA Mayron Thompson District Ct. 1980 Carter AL George Howard District Ct. 1980 carter AR Richard Erwin District Ct. 1980 Carter NC Consuelo* Marshall District Ct. 1980 Carter CA * Female 1/ Federal Judge who served a limited term (4 years) 2/ Federal Judge who served a limited term (8 years) CRS- 6 TABLE 2. Names Hispanic Federal Judges I/ Court Year Appt'd by Jurisdiction Rafael Nieto-y Abeille District Ct. 1900 McKinley PR David Chavez, Jr. District Ct. 1947 Truman PR Harold Medina District Ct. 1947 Truman NY Reynaldo Garza District Ct. ct. of Appeals 1961 1979 Kennedy carter TX Manuel L. Real District Ct. 1966 Johnson CA Juan B. District Ct. Fernandez-Badillo 1967 Johnson PR Jose Toledo District Ct. 1970 Nixon Hernan Pesquera District Ct. 1972 Nixon Juan Torreulla District Ct. 1974 Ford Santiago Campos District Ct. 1978 carter Jose Gonzalez District Ct. 1978 Carter James D e Anda District Ct. 1979 Carter Valdemar Cordova District Ct. 1979 Carter Juan Burciaga District Ct. 1979 Carter Arthur Alarcon Ct. of Appeals 1979 Carter Juan PerezGimenez District Ct. 1979 Carter Jose Cabranes District Ct. 1979 Carter NOTE: Footnotes at end of table. CRS- 7 Names Court Year Appt ' d by Jurisdiction Gilberto GierboliniOrtiz District Ct. 1980 Carter PR Raul Ramirez District Ct. 1980 Carter CA Robert Aquilar District Ct. 1980 Carter CA Vela ~ i l a m o n District Ct. 1980 Carter TX Carmen de Cerezo* District Ct. 1980 Carter PR Alfred Marqusz District Ct. 1980 Carter AZ Hipolito Garcia District Ct. 1980 Carter TX Raymond Acosta District Ct. 1982 Reagan PR Jaime Pieras District Ct. 1982 Reagan PR Ricardo Hinojosa District Ct. 1983 Reagan TX Hector Laffitte District Ct. 1983 Reagan PR * Female 1/ - P.L. 89-571, Sept. 1 2 , 1966, changed the tenure o f the District judges in Puerto Rico from 8-year terms to life tenure. CRS- 8 ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES The following sources were used in compiling the names of black and Hispanic Federal judges. In order to identify persons of Hispanic origin for the period of 1900-1970, the listings of judges in Judges of the United States was scanned for Spanish surnames. This process is imperfect at best and does not permit identification of judges whose mothers, but not fathers, were Hispanic. Accordingly, this process may have failed to identify all Hispanic heritage judges. . .leaves Reagan a Carter's efforts to diversify the bench. tough act to follow. Congressional quarterly weekly reports, V. 39, Feb. 1 4 , 1981: 300-303. Chase, Harold William, Samuel Krisler, Keith D. Boyum and Jerry N. Clark comp. Biographical dictionary of the Federal judiciary. Detroit, Marquis-Who's Who, Inc., 1976. 381 p. Gomez, Fernando C. Past and precedent. Where are our Hispanic judges? Agenda, v. 1 1 , Jan/Feb., 1981: 28. Judges of the Federal courts. Federal reporter, 2nd. series. St. Paul, V. 6 3 2 , 1981. VII-XXVI. The Judicial Conference of the United States. Judges of the United States. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1978. 550 p. Minority Fed judges gain. Federal times, v. 1 6 , June 1 6 , 1980: 3. Poloski, Harry A. and Warren Marr 11, eds. The Negro almanac: a reference work on the Afro-American, 3d ed. New York, Bellwether, 1976. 1206 p. Reagan slow in appointing women, blacks, Hispanics to Federal judiciary seats. Congressional quarterly weekly reports, v. 39, Dec. 26, 1981: 2559-2561. The Supreme 'Court. Justice and the law, Congressional Quarterly. Inc., 1977. U.S. 26. ed. 1 8 p. Washington. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Census. 1980 census list of Spanish surnames. Washington, U.S. Govt. Printing Off., 1980. 58 p. Also Consulted were: The White House, Presidential Personnel Office; Senate Judiciary Committee; United States Department of Justice; Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; American Judicature Society; National Bar Association; Hispanic Bar Association; League of United Latin American Citizens; Mexican American Legal Defense Educational Fund; Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration; National Organization for Women, Inc.