Biden touts confirmation of 200th judge of his presidency: ‘Judges matter’

President Biden on Wednesday celebrated the Senate confirming the 200th judge since he took office, framing it as a major milestone that underscored the issues at stake in November’s election.

The Senate confirmed Magistrate Judge Angela Martinez to become a federal judge in the District of Arizona, making her the 200th judicial nominee of Biden’s to be confirmed to the federal bench.

“Judges matter. These men and women have the power to uphold basic rights or to roll them back,” Biden said in a statement. “They hear cases that decide whether women have the freedom to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions; whether Americans have the freedom to cast their ballots; whether workers have the freedom to unionize and make a living wage for their families; and whether children have the freedom to breathe clean air and drink clean water.”

Biden has placed a particular emphasis on nominating qualified individuals who come from diverse backgrounds, both professionally and personally. Of the 200 confirmed judges, 64 percent are women are 62 percent are people of color. Dozens have served in public criminal defense roles.

“And despite differences in background and experience, they are all committed to principles that are at the core of our democracy: independence, freedom, and liberty,” Biden said.

The confirmations have come despite extremely narrow margins for Democrats. The Senate was split 50-50 during Biden’s first two years in office, with Vice President Harris serving as a tie-breaking vote. Democrats have held a one-seat majority since 2023.

“There is more work to do,” Biden said. “Going forward, I will continue my solemn responsibility of nominating individuals who have excelled in their professional careers, who reflect the communities they serve, and who apply the law impartially and without favoritism.”

Judicial nominations are likely to be an issue in the fall’s presidential and Senate races.

When former President Trump was in office, he nominated three justices to the Supreme Court, which then overturned the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. Democrats have leaned into that issue and the importance of the Supreme Court — even more than they historically have — since the abortion decision.

Democrats face an uphill climb in holding on to the Senate, and they have sought to put abortion rights at the center of their campaign message. Even if Biden is reelected, without a Democratic Senate it will become much more difficult for him to get his nominees confirmed.

Democrats have in recent years put increased focus on nominating judges and reshaping the courts after Trump made it a central part of his first term. Trump had 234 federal judges confirmed during his first four years in office, including three Supreme Court justices.

Those three Supreme Court picks were part of the conservative majority that has in recent years issued landmark rulings not only on abortion, but on affirmative action and climate change.

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