Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told President Barack Obama to nominate more judges with backgrounds serving the public interest instead of lawyers whose experience consists mainly of serving greedy corporations.
The Massachusetts Democrat reported several statistics on Obama’s judicial nominees, that were outlined in a new report from the Alliance for Justice.
She said 71 percent of President Obama’s Obama’s judicial nominees have represented mainly corporate or business clients while only 3.6 percent of his candidates primarily worked for public interest organizations.
Warren said more diversity is needed if America is to enjoy a legal system representing progressive values and an equitable, just, and free society.
Obama is taking commendable steps to increase professional diversity on the federal bench, according to the report, but at a Capitol Hill forum Warren made remarks criticizing Obama for appointing so many judicial nominees whose experience was mainly with big firms representing corporations.
“We face a federal bench that has a striking lack of diversity,” said Warren. ”President Obama has supported some notable exceptions but… the president’s nominees have thus far been largely in line with the prior statistics.”
Warren warned that, in America, “Power is becoming more and more concentrated on one side.” She recommended “professional diversity” in the judiciary, saying it would be “one way to insulate the courts from corporate capture.”
Echoing Obama’s own comments about wanting Supreme Court nominees to be empathetic, Warren said it matters whether a judicial nominee ”has represented people other than corporate clients” and has “real experience with people who can’t afford lawyers.”
The Massachusetts Democrat has often been the sole challenger to her own party’s performance on policy issues. At a Feb. 6 Banking Committee hearing, Warren questioned the government’s strategy for curbing Wall Street greed, following JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s $8.5 million pay raise.
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