It can be easy to let the media or some friend of your uncle’s get you pessimistic about the direction in which this country is headed. Depending on what you read or watch and which low-information friends or relatives boldly offer you their two cents, defeatism can take over. However, the only reliable indicator of anything is the truth and facts.
Two landmark events occurred on Tuesday that should serve as reminders of where things stand when it comes to politics and progress. The first is that Democrats not only won where it mattered on Election Day but defied expectations. Most notably, Democrat Andy Beshear won reelection for Governor in the very red state of Kentucky, the right to abortion became enshrined in the Ohio constitution, and Democrats kept control of the state Senate and flipped the state House to form an even stronger check against Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
The second milestone on Tuesday has received little press coverage but should not be overlooked, which is that President Joe Biden achieved his 150th judicial confirmation. These 150 individuals are all life-tenured federal judges, and they are all locked in position to issue rulings on a range of topics across the United States “from the right to vote to women’s reproductive rights,” Biden affirmed in a statement.
As is typical of the Democratic Party, it’s not just about quantity but quality. As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters on Tuesday, the confirmation of 150 judges is a “great record” reflecting “integrity and impartiality” while expanding the “diversity and dynamism of our courts” and “restoring Americans’ trust in the federal judiciary.”
Schumer also pointed out that Democrats have been succeeding at “making the bench look more like America” through greater diversity and the confirmation of many former public defenders. Along with achieving the confirmation of Biden’s 150th nominee is the fact that 100 women have now been confirmed to the federal bench. Not only is this figure almost double what happened under Donald Trump’s failed term, but it’s greater than in any former President’s full first term.
Of the 150 confirmed judges, roughly two-thirds are people of color. Among the 100 women, even more milestones abound, including the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, the first Muslim-American woman on the federal bench, the first out lesbian on any federal circuit court, and the first Navajo federal judge. You can read more about the breathtakingly historic makeup of Biden’s judicial confirmations in this Senate Democrats press release. Perhaps the best part of it all is something Schumer was sure to tell reporters on Tuesday: “We aren’t done.”