A new study out of Tulane finds that Louisiana is making slow progress in electing minorities and women to judgeships. Professor of Political Science Sally Kenney says racial minorities are 36% of the state’s population, but non-white judges were only at 22 percent. She says women judges comprised less than 32 percent of all state and federal judges in Louisiana.
"But 51% of the population in Louisiana is women," said Kenney.
Kenney says there has been a gradual increase, but it’s up to citizens to commit to equal justice under the law and keep vigilant that this progress is not reversed. She says another concern is that Louisiana's minorities and women judges are serving in certain areas, like Orleans.
"Many other jurisdictions, there's only white men judges," said Kenney. "So it's actually a little bit worse than the overall numbers would show."
The study finds that in 1992, non-white judges held 22.6% of the district court positions, a number that barely moved in 2017 when it was 23.9%. Kenney says she's also concerned that President Trump's nominees to the federal bench in Louisiana and the US have been 91% white men.
"It's very likely, that at the federal level we'll reverse the progress we've made the last 18 years."