Here’s a curious bit of judicial diversity news: In a report (.pdf) issued Friday, the Judicial Council reports that the number of minority judges has increased over the last two years. But oddly, so have the number of Caucasians.
African-American, Asian American and Latino jurists now comprise 16.8 percent of the bench in California, up from 15.1 percent in 2007. But the percentage of white judges has also increased from 70.1 percent two years ago to 72.6 percent today.
So what gives? The answer appears to lie in the decreasing number of judges who don’t provide information about their race to the Council. The percentage of such racial decline-to-states dropped from 9.9 percent in 2007 to 5.3 percent this year.
The council’s report follows a similar one that the governor issued about his 2008 appointments on Thursday. A third analysis by the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation is expected Monday.
— Cheryl Miller