Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Here Comes Da Judges

The new Senate will be seated on January 3 of next year. That means there are 333 days left that Joe Biden can be (reasonably) assured of a Democratic-majority Senate. It also means that he's got to hustle if he wants to seat as many federal judges as Donald Trump did in his 4 years.

The raw numbers are as follows. Trump seated 234 judges, while Biden just saw his 175th judge confirmed. Biden has actually already outpaced first-term Barack Obama, but he's obviously 59 behind Trump. There are currently 57 vacancies, and there will surely be at least two more in the next 11 months, so equaling Trump is, at very least, mathematically possible.

Of course, the more important question is: Is it actually possible? That's much harder to say. To start, Biden has to actually come up with nominees; thus far he's tapped someone for only 23 of the open seats. Once his staff rounds up another 34+ candidates, there are the following additional challenges to overcome:

Biden is going to run, in part, on having seated lots of judges. And while there really isn't much difference between, say, 230 judges and 234 judges, there is a lot of difference between "I seated as many as/more than Trump" and "I seated fewer than Trump." So, the White House is very motivated here. So are Chuck Schumer and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL). All three men know how to play the game, having been playing it for 136 years, collectively. So, don't bet against them. (Z)

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