Earlier this week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Emily Curington of Fruitland Park, Florida to the bench of the Lake County Court, and Brett Szematowicz to the Pinellas County Court. The two new judges mark the governor’s 99th and 100th judicial appointments since taking office.
The nice round number of 100 makes it extremely simple for those who profess a love of identity politics to compare the racial diversity of those appointees with the actual population of the state to determine whether or not our governor is either a sexist, a racist, or perhaps both. Remember it was only two years ago this month that the now disgraced Andrew Gillum strongly suggested DeSantis was a racist during the 2018 campaign before voters rejected Gillum’s claims and his candidacy.
But what does the math suggest? Let’s dive in, starting with gender.
Approximately 54 percent of the judges appointed by DeSantis are male, while 46 percent are female. Of course an 8 percent spread in favor of males doesn’t mean DeSantis is sexist. The current judiciary in Florida is comprised of 60 percent males and 40 percent females, so that’s some notable progress, especially when one considers the fact that all judges in the state are picked from the available pool of bar licensed attorneys. That pool leans even more in favor of males, 61 percent to 39 percent. And no, social justice warriors, the Florida Bar isn’t sexist, either.
Okay, so much for the charge of sexism, but what about racism?
Checking the racial diversity of DeSantis’s judicial appointees reveals that 13 percent are black, 14 percent are Hispanic, and 6 percent are Asian or other. But if you’re thinking this is proof that DeSantis is overwhelmingly appointing whites over racially diverse candidates, think again.
As is the case with gender, the state’s previous judiciary (prior to any DeSantis appointment) was comprised of only 6 percent black judges, and less than 11 percent Hispanics. And DeSantis’s appointments have come from a pool of licensed attorneys who are just 4 percent black, 10 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian or other race.
Taken together, 33 percent of DeSantis’s judicial appointees are something other than white males, versus the previously appointed judiciary in Florida having only 17.5 percent racially or gender diverse judges, and about 18 percent of the available pool of Florida Bar licensed attorneys.