In 1979, 23 women were appointed to the federal bench, more than doubling the number of women federal judges in the previous 190 year history of the United States. Forty years later, one-third of full-time, active Article III judges are women. The U.S. Courts will publish a series of articles on individual judges at https://www.uscourts.gov/news/1979 -year-women-changed-judiciary. The women judges of 1979 were aided by President Jimmy Carter’s drive to diversity the judiciary, a new vetting system that helped candidates without political connections and a 1978 law that created 153 new judgeships, the current article says. But, “[T]he key, however, was a new generation of women lawyers who were so conditioned to breaking glass ceilings that they weren’t daunted when their opportunity arrived.”
Bar Buzz: Women judges savor their place in history
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