With Dem Senate, Biden Eyes Overhauling Judiciary (Newsmax)
By Charles Kim | Tuesday, 15 November 2022 11:12 AM EST
With a Democrat Senate Majority, President Joe Biden is looking to confirm appointments to the federal bench that could overhaul the judiciary.
"There's a big difference between a 50-50 Senate and a 51-49 Senate for the functionality of the Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee," Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a member of the judiciary panel, told the Washington Examiner Tuesday. "Simply having control of the Senate means we have the ability to continue moving forward the personnel who will represent us and shape our laws."
Like his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, Biden has been working diligently behind the scenes getting some 84 federal judge nominations confirmed as he heads into the midpoint of his first four-year-term in the White House, with another 57 nominees waiting for Senate approval, the news outlet reported.
"I think all we can say is that they've been pretty aggressive and trying to get appointments through, and there's no reason to think that's going to change," Russell Wheeler, a governance studies expert with the Brookings Institution, told the Examiner.
According to Ballotpedia, former Republican President Ronald Reagan made the most appointments to the bench during his eight years in office with 402, followed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton with 387 during his two terms.
Both former GOP President George W. Bush and Democratic former President Barack Obama were almost evenly split on appointments during their tenure with Bush appointing 340 judges and Obama appointing 334.
Despite serving just one four-year-term in office, Trump was on pace to take the top spot, making 245 appointments during his solo White House term.
Biden is currently running even ahead of that pace midway into his first term by making 142 appointments as of Nov. 1, according to Ballotpedia.
A Pew Research Center report from August, Biden is ahead of former President John F. Kennedy during the same period in his administration.
In the case of both presidents, most appointments were to federal district courts, the report said.
Those courts, which preside over criminal and civil trials, made up around 76% of Biden's appointments, while Trump only appointed around 51% to that level and 47% to the appeals courts, the report said.
If Democrat incumbent Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock can win his runoff race with GOP challenger Herschel Walker on Dec. 6, it would give Biden and the Democrats some breathing room in confirming the appointments moving forward, the report said.