Dec 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden reaches Reagan record with 40th judge confirmed

Schumer and Biden

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Biden on July 14. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden reached a political milestone overnight when the Senate approved his 40th judicial nominee, the most judges confirmed during a president's first year in four decades.

Why it matters: The White House has spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort, mostly behind the scenes, trying to mitigate the legal boost conservatives got during the Trump administration.

  • With 226 federal judges, including three young Supreme Court justices, Trump made a conservative judicial impact that will last for decades.

Details: The Senate early Saturday confirmed nine of Biden's federal judicial nominees, bringing him to 40 and a tie with Ronald Reagan during his first year in office.

  • California: The Senate confirmed Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong , 46-24, for the Central District; Linda Lopez, 48-25, and Jinsook Ohta, 47-24, for the Southern District, and Jennifer Thurston, 46-24, for the Eastern District.
    • These are Biden's first trial judges in California. All three are women, one (Frimpong) is Black, one (Ohta) immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea and another (Lopez) is the daughter of Cuban immigrants.
  • Michigan: The Senate confirmed Shalina Kumar, 44-25, for the Eastern District and Jane Beckering, 45-25, for the Western District.
    •  Kumar will be the first federal judge of South Asian descent in Michigan.
  • Minnesota: The Senate confirmed Katherine Marie Menendez, 49-21, for the District of Minnesota.
  • New Mexico: The Senate confirmed David Herrera Urias, 45-26, for the District of New Mexico.
  • Washington: The Senate confirmed Mary Katherine Dimke, 47-23, for the Eastern District.

The Senate confirmed by voice vote Armando Bonilla and Carolyn Lerner to be judges on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

  • Bonilla will be the first Latino judge on the court.  

What's next: The Senate reconvenes on Jan. 3, and will proceed to a confirmation vote on Gabriel Sanchez to be a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • And the pace is unlikely to slow as Biden this week announced nine new federal judicial nominees, his 11th round of picks.

Go deeper: Biden's quiet court drive

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