Diversity on the bench is an essential component of a fair and impartial judiciary. Bringing a range of experiences and perspectives to bear allows judges to make better informed decisions and increases public confidence in their rulings. 不幸的是今天, neither state nor federal courts reflect the diversity of the communities they are supposed to serve.
Drawing on nearly 60 years of data, the 布伦南中心 has found that state supreme courts are overwhelmingly white and male, 从某些方面来看, they have actually become less reflective of an increasingly diverse U.S. 人口随着时间的推移.
The lack of racial and gender diversity on today’s courts is driven by myriad and complex factors, including a long history of racial and gender discrimination and inequities in access to law schools and the legal bar. The 布伦南中心 studies how judicial selection may affect diversity, finding that judicial elections have rarely been a path for people of color to reach state supreme courts. We also found racial disparities in virtually every element of state supreme court elections, 从谁赢了, to how frequently incumbent justices are challenged, to how much money candidates raise, to who is supported by special interest groups.
We also encourage measures to promote diversity on the bench. 例如, judicial public financing is one proven mechanism for opening the door to otherwise qualified candidates who lack access to networks of wealthy donors. 布伦南中心的 指南 to building a diverse bench focus on simple changes and best practices that judicial nominating commissions can undertake to strengthen the applicant pool for judgeships and ensure equitable consideration of judicial candidates.