Biden Catches Up to Trump on Judicial Confirmation, Supreme Court Approval Rising

April 26, 2024
Full Court Press | First Liberty Insider

Federal judges make critical legal decisions about religious freedom and our other constitutional rights. First Liberty continues to monitor judicial nominees and to provide you with the facts about the ones with a radical or unacceptable record.

Here’s a quick roundup on judicial nominations and what’s happening across the federal courts.

Biden and Trump Are Now Tied in Judicial Confirmations

President Bident recently matched Trump in the number of judicial confirmations. They’re tied at 193 at this point in their presidency. According to The Heritage Foundation’s judicial tracker, this means both Trump and Biden are outpacing their predecessors dating back to Ronald Reagan.

The White House announced a list of seven district court nominees earlier this week. There are currently about 12 nominees in the pipeline and just under 45 vacancies, per U.S. Courts.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee recently advanced a handful of nominees to the full floor for their final confirmation votes. Among them is Nancy Maldonado, selected to serve on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Her nomination advanced on a strict party line vote.

Maldonado faced tough questions during her confirmation hearing in March. Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana asked her about a backlog of cases during her time on as a federal district court judge. Kennedy said she had the worst backlog of any district court judge within Seventh Circuit.

“You really think of all the other district judges in the Seventh Circuit, you’re the one that ought to be promoted based on this record?,” he asked.

Maldonado also has ties to the far-left progressive groups, Demand Justice, Alliance for Justice, and the Raben Group and sought advice from them related to her judicial nomination.

More controversy arose during a hearing for a nominee to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee told her colleagues that she and fellow Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty tried to work with the White House to identify nominees to fill the Sixth Circuit vacancy. However, she says the administration ignored their suggestions to move ahead with their pick.

“It is abundantly clear that, despite the White House’s assurances to the contrary, there was a back room deal to appoint Mr. Ritz to this vacancy from the very start,” Blackburn said. “The most glaring example of the White House’s outright refusal to consult is the fact that they have not even bothered to ask what our objections to Mr. Ritz might be.”

Biden nominated Kevin Ritz, currently a U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Ritz’s nomination also raised concerns. During his confirmation hearing, senators questioned his handling of a criminal drug matter, including potential allegations of ethical misconduct while he prosecuted the case.


Reuters: US Senate panel advances 7th Circuit nominee Maldonado

National Review: Nancy Maldonado’s Dark Money Cheerleaders

Courthouse News Service: Blue slips off the table for Dems as Senate spars over Sixth Circuit nominee Ritz

Bloomberg Law: Biden Sixth Circuit Pick Pressured by Republicans on Ethics

There’s Still Hope: Recent Poll Shows Rise in Supreme Court Approval

The Supreme Court’s approval rating is on the rise, according to a Marquette University Law School poll from early April.

47% of Americans said they approve of “the way the Supreme Court is handling its job.” That’s up from 40 percent the previous month. It’s also the highest approval percentage in over a year.

Could support be stronger? Of course, and we should keep working to improve trust and confidence in our nation’s highest court.

But let’s not lose sight of the big picture. Given the moment that our country is in, this is actually really good news. And here’s why.

The far Left, politicians and many radical groups in the country are engaged in a full-scale effort to destroy the Court’s legitimacy. They’re pouring in millions of dollars to undermine the Court in the eyes of the American people.

You can’t read a headline today without coming across some story that tries to make you hallucinate misconduct about a Supreme Court Justice. Also, a group of about 50 radical organizations recently said they supported judicial term limits, a dangerous proposal that’s simply court packing by a different name. It’s all about purging justices from the Court, especially the conservative ones, so they can be replaced with liberal ones. One would read that and be tempted to think that “support is growing” for these sort of radical changes.

But as these recent poll numbers suggest, that’s just not the case.

You know what this poll shows? Americans can see past the lies. When exposed to the truth and the facts, they aren’t fooled. They can discern the dangers behind court packing, court purging and many of the far-reaching changes the radical Left keeps pitching.

This is the pattern we’ve seen the last several years. Americans overwhelmingly oppose this extreme attempt at a Supreme Court Coup. Multiple polls that First Liberty commissioned from Mason Dixon Polling & Strategy consistently revealed that between 65 – 68% (TWO-THIRDS!) of Americans oppose adding seats to the Supreme Court.

Still, we can’t bury our heads in the sand. We can’t deny the radical Left has done a lot of damage to the Court’s credibility in recent years.

But there’s hope. Americans know the judiciary is one of the last remaining safeguards—if not THE last—for religious freedom and many of our other cherished rights. And this recent rising approval of the Court means they understand the Court’s job isn’t to do the bidding of one party or another. When the Court rules according to the Constitution, the American people tend to approve.

There’s still plenty of work to be done and we can’t back down now. Our courts and our freedoms are at stake. Fighting for religious freedom, or any constitutional freedom, means nothing if our system of justice is gone. Every chance we get, we have to inform people and expose this extreme court “reform” scheme for what it really is: a Supreme Court Coup.


The Hill: New poll shows Supreme Court approval rating is on the rise

Politico: Supreme Court’s approval rating ticks up, poll shows

Biden Administration Refuses to Withdraw Support of Radical Nominee

President Biden is digging in his heels to support Adeel Mangi for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. A White House spokesperson recently told Fox News that the President “is proud to have chosen Adeel Mangi,” calling him “an extraordinarily qualified nominee” and noting he “would make history on the bench.”

Mangi’s nomination has drawn considerable opposition because of his affiliation with certain groups, including the Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights—an organization that promotes anti-Semitism and praises terrorist groups.

Though still pending, Mangi’s nomination is lingering on life support. Recently, the AFL-CIO chartered International Union of Police Associations sent a letter opposing Mangi’s nomination. The broad coalition opposing Mangi has grown to include 21 police organizations, five Jewish groups, 10 GOP members of Congress, all Republican members of the Judiciary Committee and at least three Senate Democrats.

Mangi isn’t the only nominee with alarming connections to some of America’s most radical groups. The Washington Free Beacon recently warned about Brian Murphy, selected by Biden to fill a district court seat in Massachusetts. Murhpy has ties to a legal group that urges judges to base prison sentences on “structural racism” and backed a bail fund that freed a rapist who committed another rape weeks after his release from jail.


Fox News: Biden resists pulling controversial judicial nominee Adeel Mangi

Concerned Women for America: Despite Growing Opposition, Biden Refuses to Withdraw Radical Judicial Nominee

Washington Free Beacon: Yet Another Biden Judicial Pick Has Ties to a Left-Wing, Anti-Cop Group

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