Senate confirms 200th Biden judge in what Democrats call a “major milestone.”

Washington – The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Biden’s 200th judicial nominee, surpassing the number of federal judicial appointments made by his two most recent predecessors in their presidencies.

The Senate marked the milestone by voting to confirm Angela Martinez on Wednesday, after confirming Krissa Lanham on Tuesday. With their confirmations, Mr. Biden has appointed 42 judges to the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 155 judges to the U.S. District Courts, and two to the International Trade Court. He appointed Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in 2022 A history-making appointment She became the first black woman to serve on the nation’s Supreme Court.

There are more than 40 open positions in the Federal Judiciary, and 28 future vacancies, According to US courts. Mr. Biden has two dozen candidates pending. There are more than 860 recognized judges in the country.

“Judges matter,” the president said in a statement, marking the 200th commitment. “These men and women have the power to assert or revoke basic rights. Whether women have the freedom to make their own reproductive health decisions, whether Americans have the freedom to vote, whether workers have the freedom to associate and make a living for their families, and whether children have the freedom to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the confirmations a “huge milestone,” saying the 200 judges to confirm Martinez on the Senate floor before the vote “comprise the most diverse set of judicial appointments under any president in American history.”

“A powerful federal judicial bench filled with lifetime appointments should reflect America,” he said. “It took a long time to get to this point.”

Schumer called it a “very good day for America.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer chats with Sen. Dick Turbin ahead of President Biden’s annual State of the Union address on March 7, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Shawn Thew / Getty Images

Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin Mr. He praised Biden’s judicial appointments as “the best in our judiciary.”

“This is an extraordinary slate of judges who rule with fairness and restraint. These judges respect the rule of law, adhere to precedent and above all, answer only to the Constitution,” the Illinois Democrat said in comments on the Senate floor.

Mr. Durbin also highlighted the professional and demographic diversity of Biden’s nominees. He said the Senate had made history by confirming more black women to the US appeals courts than all previous presidents.

Biden’s Judiciary Choices

Mr. Biden’s judicial appointments are slightly more than former President Donald Trump’s at this point in his fourth year in office. Many Democratic senators in states won by Trump in 2020 may find it difficult to surpass the 234 judges Trump named to the federal bench in his first and only term, given the Senate’s schedule ahead of the November election. Visit their places and are likely to spend the coming months on the campaign trail.

“I think it’s pretty substantial when you consider what we were up against,” Durbin told CBS News Tuesday of the milestone, noting the makeup of a narrowly divided Senate and a one-vote Democratic advantage on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Considers the appointments of the President. The Senate has 48 Democrats, 49 Republicans and three independents who generally vote with Democrats. A simple majority of 51 votes is required to confirm a judicial nominee.

Mr. While Durbin cheered the Senate’s work in confirming Biden’s judicial nominees, he explained why it will be difficult to match or surpass the number confirmed during the Trump administration.

“It’s tough because there was a spurt at the end when Trump gave him a set, and that set had a dozen judges, maybe more,” Durbin added. “If we can get that kind of treatment from Sen. McConnell, I think we can get there.”

The focus on judicial nominees has sharpened under Trump To reshape the federal judiciary. His appointments to the Supreme Court were perhaps the most lasting and consequential actions of his presidency. Trump named three justices to the nation’s Supreme Court, expanding its conservative majority to 6-3. Since his administration ended in January 2021, the Supreme Court has Roe v. Wade fell over And Affirmative action in higher education endedand ready to issue judgments Reducing federal regulatory authority In the coming weeks.

Mr. Biden has emphasized diversity in his judicial appointments Professional background The President has chosen to serve among them.

There is the White House Emphasized while declaring The president’s picks are a new round of judicial nominees who deliver on his “personal and professional background — a promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect diversity, one of our greatest assets as a nation.”

In his first six months in office, Mr. Biden matched former President Barack Obama’s number of nominees to federal appeals courts who served as public defenders. More than 40% of lifetime appointees served as public defenders or civil rights attorneys, or worked to protect civil and human rights, according to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Additionally, of the president’s confirmed judges, 127 are women, 125 are men of color, and 79 are women of color, according to the memo. Mr. 11 judges tapped by Biden are LGBTQ, matching Obama’s record for appointing openly LGBTQ judges to the federal bench. Even the President He was appointed as the first Muslim American Federal Judge Zahid Qureshi in American History for the Federal District Court in New Jersey.

“The 200th lifetime judicial confirmation during this administration is an important milestone to celebrate and a call to action to make further progress,” Leadership Conference President and CEO Maya Wiley said in a statement. “We urgently need to create an equitable judiciary that works for all of us. We deserve a judiciary that upholds civil liberties and the Constitution.”

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