With 100th Judicial Nomination, Biden Moving Fast to Reshape Courts

With 100th Judicial Nomination, Biden Moving Fast to Reshape Courts
The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse is seen in Manhattan as the jury deliberates in the case against Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City on Dec. 21, 2021. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Senate has confirmed President Joe Biden’s 100th federal judicial nominee—a major milestone in the Democrats’ mission to overhaul the judiciary in their efforts to bring “balance and excellence to the federal bench.”

In the same amount of time during their administrations, former President Donald Trump had confirmed 85 judges—it took Trump until May 2019 during his third year in office to hit the 100 mark—and former President Obama 67, The Washington Examiner reported.
“This Senate has confirmed more judges by this point in a president’s term than under either of the two previous administrations, and we'll keep going,” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a Twitter post on Feb. 14—one of the many he made that day.
Another tweet proclaimed, “BIG NEWS: This Senate Democratic Majority has just confirmed the 100th federal judge nominated by President Biden.”
“One hundred judges who’ve expanded the diversity and dynamism of the judiciary,” Schumer said in his remarks on the Senate floor about the Feb. 14 confirmation vote for the 100th judicial nominee.

“One hundred judges who embody the best of our justice system: experience, fair-mindedness, and most of all, fidelity to the Constitution,” he continued.

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Gina Méndez-Miró—Biden’s 100th judicial nominee—to serve as U.S. district court judge for the District of Puerto Rico, making “history as the first openly LGBTQ member of that court,” Schumer announced.

“That is something to celebrate, something to be proud of, something that shows America can, little by little, live up to its promise of opportunity for all, regardless of his or her background,” he said.

Thus far, Biden’s total federal confirmations include one U.S. Supreme Court justice, 30 Circuit Court judges, and 69 District Court judges, Fox News reported.
According to a statement Biden made announcing his milestone for social progressivism: that 76 of the 100 federal judges confirmed during his administration are women and 68 are people of color, of which one made history as the first black woman to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court—Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“I am also proud to have confirmed 12 Black women to serve on federal circuit courts—more than all other Presidents combined,” Biden said.

Other minority judges confirmed so far, Schumer said, include 33 blacks (25 of whom are women), 21 from “Hispanic backgrounds,” and “the first Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history.”

“Diversity can take many forms,” Schumer said. He went on to laud the Biden administration’s slate of diverse appointees.

“Perhaps more than any other point in history, our bench today has more public defenders, more civil rights, election lawyers—people who’ve understood average folks as they walk through their lives ... the kind of heavy-hitters who, until now, rarely made it to the federal bench.”

In contrast, The Washington Post pointed out that of the 234 judges Trump saw confirmed during his administration, only 11 were minority women and 26 were minority men, while 44 were white women and 148 were white men.
According to Forbes, Trump had appointed more judges, including three Supreme Court justices and 54 appellate judges, than any president in a single term of office had since Jimmy Carter, who Pew Research reported appointed 261.

A Busy Week of Judicial Appointments

Before this week, the Senate had confirmed 98 of Biden’s judicial nominees, according to The Washington Post.

On Monday night, Cindy K. Chung was Biden’s 99th judge confirmed, set to serve on the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a 50-44 vote, three Republican Senators—Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R-Maine)—joined the Democrats, The Epoch Times reported.
In his remarks on the Senate floor during Chung’s confirmation vote on Feb. 13, Schumer declared Chung to be the first Asian-American to “ever, ever sit” on the 3rd Circuit, adding that she is “precisely the kind of person we want on the federal bench” as she’s “dedicated her career to protecting civil rights, having prosecuted white supremacists and others charged with hate crimes.”
Besides Méndez-Miró’s confirmation on Feb. 14, which the Senate voted 54-45 with four Republicans joining the Democrats (Sens. Graham, Murkowski, Collins, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), according to Forbes, the Senate also confirmed Biden’s 101st and 102nd nominees.

Lindsay C. Jenkins was confirmed to serve as U.S. district judge of the northern District of Illinois and Matthew L. Garcia as U.S. district judge for the District of New Mexico, respectively, The Washington Post reported.

“Since long before the inauguration, I directed my team to make judicial confirmations a leading priority of this administration,” Biden said. “We have certainly been productive.”