President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats are vetting civil rights lawyers and public defenders to nominate as judges, embarking on a mission to shape the courts after Republicans overhauled them in the last four years, according to senior party officials and activists.
Democrats have a wafer-thin Senate majority that gives them control over appointments, NBC News reports. They believe they have two years to make their mark and fill a growing number of vacancies before the midterm elections, where the party in power historically loses seats.
Some are preparing for a Supreme Court retirement as early as this summer, with most of the speculation centered on 82-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer, a Democratic appointee.
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In addition to forming a new commission to study structural changes to the judiciary, the Biden White House has asked senators to recruit civil rights attorneys and defense lawyers for judgeships. Officials who work on the issue say they’ve seen an outpouring of interest and have begun holding sessions to offer information and advice on navigating the confirmation gauntlet.
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