While Executive Orders and Relief Bill have filled the headlines, the stage has been set for perhaps equally important action by the Biden administration: the possible appointment of dozens of new judges. Following Donald Trump’s exit from the White House, the Washington Post noted how many judges are currently considering retiring so Biden can elect her successor.
The Biden administration already has five vacancies at the county level, the appellate courts directly under the Supreme Court. A majority of the more than 60 judges eligible to move to higher status and to open their positions have been nominated by Democrats.
“People are approaching this with a different sense of urgency,” said White House assistant attorney Paige Herwig, who leads the new administration’s efforts. “And they understand. You saw what the Trump administration did for four years. “
If Biden is to make a difference, his administration will have to work overtime to admit new judges. With Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Holding the seats open, Trump was able to fill nearly a third of the appeals court with young, very conservative candidates for life.
Officials looking for potential judges are aware that they may only have two years of unified government to do so.
“We’re seeing some vacancies now, but I think they’ll be staggered overall, partly because the judges are sensitive to how these changes affect their cycle,” said Marin K. Levy, professor at Duke University School of Law the post. “I expect there will be more in the spring and summer months.”
The White House has an extensive background in appointing judicial officers. Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris served on the Senate Judiciary Committee.