Senate Confirms Biden’s 40th Judge, Tying a Reagan-Era Record

The rapid speed of confirmations this year came despite an evenly divided Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tiebreaker. But like Mr. Biden’s legislative agenda, his judicial agenda is also facing challenges of its own.

Democrats have overwhelmingly racked up judicial victories in states represented by two Democratic senators. They are facing stronger headwinds in states represented by at least one Republican senator. Tennessee Republicans have already raised objections to Mr. Biden’s pick for an influential appeals court there, the administration’s first judicial nominee from a state represented by two Republican senators.

Beyond Republican-led efforts to slow-walk such nominees, Mr. Biden is also facing limited appellate vacancies from Republican appointees — which means he has little room to reshape the ideological balance of the courts. Of the appellate nominees Mr. Biden has named, only three of 10 would replace Republican appointees.

At the moment, the vacancies Mr. Biden is facing in the appeals courts are those created by Democratic appointees, said Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies the federal courts. “So far, the percentage of Republican appointees on the court of appeals is almost unchanged from when Biden took office,” he said.

The greatest threat the administration’s effort may face, however, is the risk of losing control of the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. Mr. Wheeler noted that Mr. Trump had nominated 54 circuit court judges over four years with a Republican-controlled Senate.

“If Biden loses the Senate, it’s not going to be talking about ‘How many appointees,’” Mr. Wheeler said. “It’s going to be talking about whether there’s going to be any at all.”

In total, Mr. Biden has sent 71 judicial nominees to the Senate for consideration.

The Senate also early Saturday confirmed on a voice vote 41 ambassadors, including Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago, as U.S. ambassador to Japan. That vote came about as part of a deal with Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who had blocked the nominees in his push for a vote on sanctions over a Russian-backed gas pipeline. After Mr. Cruz finally won a promise for a vote on the sanctions, Mr. Schumer was able to push the nominees through.

White House Says It Does Not Keep Visitor Logs at Biden’s Delaware Home

WASHINGTON — White House officials said on Monday that there are no visitor logs that keep track of who comes and goes from President Biden’s personal residence in Wilmington, Del., where six classified documents were discovered in recent days. A top House Republican demanded on Sunday that the White House turn over visitor logs for […]

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A Florida School Received a Threat. Did a Red Flag Law Prevent a Shooting?

The requests were granted. But the results of the search were not what the detective expected. Memories of Parkland Nationally, more than 20,000 petitions for extreme risk protection orders were filed from 1999 to 2021, according to data collected by Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group. A vast majority of those petitions — more […]

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A Colossal Off-Year Election in Wisconsin

Lauren Justice for The New York Times Conservatives have controlled the court since 2008. Though the court upheld Wisconsin’s 2020 election results, last year it ruled drop boxes illegal, allowed a purge of the voter rolls to take place and installed redistricting maps drawn by Republican legislators despite the objections of Gov. Tony Evers, a […]

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