Charlie Buttrey

May 17, 2022

I may harp on this a bit much, but here’s yet another reminder that the single most important issue in every Presidential election is federal judicial appointments: Ketanji Brown Jackson will become the first former public defender to sit on the high court, which already has three prosecutors — Justices Gorsuch, Sotomayor and Alito.

Here are some fun facts:

– As of April 2021, 318 former prosecutors were serving as federal judges, along with 243 judges who, as lawyers, had represented the government as “noncriminal courtroom advocates.” 76 federal judges were formerly criminal defense attorneys, and just 58 — less than seven percent of the federal judiciary — were former public defenders. At the federal appeals court level, the ratio of former prosecutors to former public defenders is an astonishing 100-to-1.

– For every former public defender that President Trump appointed to a federal judgeship, he appointed ten former prosecutors.

– Thirty percent of President Biden’s appointments have been former public defenders.


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