President Joe Biden's efforts to reshape the federal judiciary could be substantially weakened if Republicans gain control of the Senate, according to the Washington Examiner.
All of Biden's federal judiciary nominees, including those to the Supreme Court, must be confirmed by the Senate. If Republicans gain control of the chamber, they could present a major obstacle in getting Biden's nominees through.
The Senate, aided by the Democrat's Senate majority, has confirmed 84 nominees as of Nov. 8.
According to Reuters, it is the same number of judicial nominations Donald Trump had at the same point in his administration.
Biden's appointees include Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. A total of 74% of Biden's confirmed appointees are women, 25% are Black, and 17% are Hispanic.
"It will go down as one of the great achievements of the Biden administration," said Russ Feingold, a Democrat and former U.S. senator who now leads the liberal American Constitution Society, which has advocated for Biden's judicial nominees.
But if Republicans win control of the Senate in Tuesday's midterms, they would not take over until mid-January. That could mean Democrats would work quickly to get the 57 remaining nominees approved before a GOP takeover.
If Republicans gain control, Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, thinks the Democrats are "just going to run out of time" to clear all of the remaining nominees and will have to prioritize those they need to get through.
Reuters noted that Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, had said in September that Senate control by his party would not stop Biden from nominating judges but would give Republicans "more leverage to negotiate" to head off nominees who are "ideologues."
Mike Davis, a former Republican Senate Judiciary Committee aide who heads the Article III Project conservative activist group, said: "It will not be mindless obstruction, but it will be careful consideration on a nominee-by-nominee basis to ensure they are within the judicial mainstream and enjoy bipartisan support."
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