When the Bush Administration placed comparatively few women on the bench during its initial half-term, I criticized President Bush's mediocre record. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Bush Administration ultimately appointed an unprecedented percentage of women to the federal courts; 36 of the 192 judges President Bush appointed were women (18.7%).

Notwithstanding the Bush Administration's efforts, the percentage of female judges remains significantly lower than the representation of women in the legal profession. Moreover, President Bush left 100 open judgeships. These vacancies mean that President Bill Clinton can greatly increase the numbers and percentages of female judges and fulfill his campaign promise to make the federal courts look like America.

Now that President Bush has concluded his four-year term, the Bush Administration's record of judicial selection warrants assessment. It is also important to analyze whether President Clinton will actually appoint more women and, if so, how he best can achieve that objective. This essay undertakes that effort. The first section examines President Bush's record of choosing female judges. The second part explores how the Clinton Administration probably will treat the appointment of women and suggests how it can select substantial numbers and percentages of female federal judges.

Document Type


Publication Date