The Obama administration regularly boasts of the diversity of its candidates in its push to get them confirmed. Of the 13 pending nominees, nine are women and four are African-American. And, like Hughes, some of them would make history if confirmed. Debra Brown would be the first African-American district judge in the Northern District of Mississippi, and Landya McCafferty, Susan Watters and Elizabeth Wolford would be the first female district judges in their districts (New Hampshire, Montana and the Western District of New York, respectively).
"Many of the president's circuit judges have broken new diversity barriers -- including three Hispanic, two Asian-American, and one African-American -- who are 'firsts,' in their respective courts," White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler wrote in a blog post shortly after the vote.
"The judiciary will better reflect the nation it serves, instilling even greater public confidence in our justice system," Ruemmler wrote. "We look forward to the “seconds” and “thirds” who will come after Todd Hughes and his fellow “firsts” currently serving on our courts.