Alabama and Texas are currently being sued by residents for perceived discriminatory practices in judge elections. According to American Progress, “Since 1994, every black candidate for [Alabama’s] 19 appellate judgeships has lost to a white candidate.” In addition “Around 40 percent of Texas’ population is Latino, yet only 5 of the 76 justices who have served on the Texas Supreme Court since 1945”
An American Constitution Society report revealed that “white men comprise 58 percent of state court judges, even though they make up less than one-third of the population.” 37% of America’s population identify as people of color (Asian, Hispanic, and Black), yet only 20% of state judges match that criteria. "The report further examined the diversity of each state’s courts, grading them on an A through F scale. Only nine states received a passing score; more than half received an F. For example, people of color account for only one-quarter of Texas judges, even though whites account for less than half of the state’s population.“
The lack of diversity at the state court levels is alarming. State courts handle more than 95% of American court cases, but in no way reflect the diversity of their citizens. With recent racial tensions, this is an issue for residents who perceive justice to be unfair due to low numbers of judges’ reflecting their communities racial and gender breakdown.
To combat this, many within the law profession argue that race does not impact a person’s ability to judge a situation fairly. To them diversity has no bearing on a court’s decision. Whatever your feelings on the arguement, a lack of diversity decreases the representaion of select communities in conversations of justice. That is inherently wrong.
To improve diversity within the court systems, all qualified applicants running for office must have an equal opportunity to win. For example, "North Carolina saw greater racial diversity on its appellate courts after offering public financing to candidates who qualified by raising small contributions.” Implementing ideas that benefit all involved is the key to better representation within the justice system. Otherwise, legal recourse will be taken like the ones in Texas and Alabama.