According to data from the Federal Judicial Center, President Obama appointed just one fewer women to the federal bench during his four years in office than President George W. Bush did in eight. Obama appointed 70 judges to lifetime positions on the federal bench, including Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Bush appointed just 71 after two full terms in the White House.
Overall, about 41 percent of Obama’s confirmed nominees to the bench are women. Sadly, this places him well ahead of his predecessors. Indeed, until the Carter Administration, female federal judges were exceptionally rare. Presidents Kennedy, Nixon and Ford appointed just one woman each to the federal bench: