This excerpt is from a piece that originally ran on March 2, 2023.
The U.S. Senate’s confirmation on Tuesday of Jamal Whitehead to a federal judgeship in Washington marks the Biden administration’s first judicial confirmation of an individual with a known disability. It also stands out as a milestone for Whitehead’s family, who endured the racist policies of the Jim Crow era.
Rakim Brooks, president of the progressive judicial advocacy group Alliance for Justice, which represents 148 public interest and civil rights organizations, lauded Whitehead’s selection.
“As a Black man with a disability, Mr. Whitehead will bring much needed diversity to the federal judiciary,” Brooks told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter, adding that upon Whitehead’s confirmation, “the federal judiciary will better reflect the diversity of our nation and the perspectives of the disability community.”