Press-Telegram (Long Beach)

Biden gets first shot at filling fed judiciary

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WASHINGTON » President Joe Biden has two seats to fill on the influentia­l appeals court in the nation’s capital that regularly feeds judges to the Supreme Court.

They are among the roughly 10% of federal judgeships that are or soon will be open, giving Biden his first chance to make his mark on the American judiciary.

Barring an improbable expansion of the Supreme Court, Biden won’t be able to do anything about the high court’s entrenched conservati­ve majority any time soon. Justice Clarence Thomas, at 72, is the oldest of the court’s conservati­ves, and the three appointees of former President Donald Trump, ranging in age from 49 to 56, are expected to be on the bench for decades.

Democrats traditiona­lly have not made the judiciary a focus, but that is changing after four years of Trump and the vast changes he made. Biden’s appointmen­ts are also the only concrete moves he has right now to affect the judiciary at large.

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