Posted on May 19, 2023

People of Color and Women Are Underrepresented on State Supreme Court Benches, Report Finds

Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN, May 16, 2023

State supreme court justices are disproportionately White and don’t reflect the diverse populations they serve, a new report has found.

According to statistics released by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, only 20% of justices are people of color despite Black, Latino, Asian American, Native American and multiracial people making up 40% of the US population.

Additionally, the study found that in 18 states, all state supreme court justices were White. In 24 states, there were no Black state supreme court justices; in 40 states plus Washington, DC, there were no Latino state supreme court justices, 42 states had no Asian American state supreme court justices; and 47 states plus Washington, DC, had no Native American state supreme court justices.


“Judicial diversity is key to ensuring the legitimacy and efficacy of our court system,” the report says. “A diverse bench leads to increased public confidence in the courts and richer judicial deliberations.”