President Obama has reshaped the federal courts for decades to come with a record number of women and minorities appointed to lifetime judge ships, despite losing his high-profile battle over the U.S. Supreme Court this year.
The Washington Times reports,
Of the more than 340 judges nominated by Mr. Obama and confirmed by the Senate, about 42 percent are women, 19 percent are black and 11 percent are Hispanic — more female and minority appointees than any other president. Mr. Obama also has appointed at least 11 federal judges who are openly gay, another record.
Along the way, the president has turned nine of the 13 key federal appeals courts into majority-Democrat courts. When he came into office in 2009, only one of the circuit courts was majority Democrat.
“That’s a huge impact,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative legal group. “Typically, we see over eight years that a president will have a chance to replace a third of federal judges, and that was just what Obama did. And he was very strategic in how he did that.”
Although Senate Republicans blocked Mr. Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, the circuit courts handle much larger caseloads overall. Mr. Obama’s impact is already clear.
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