Dozens of federal judgeship openings for Obama

Yet another reason why it was critical to win. Can you imagine the long term negative impact of a Republican filling even more positions in the federal court system?

President-elect Obama will enter office with an immediate opportunity to begin shaping the federal courts by filling four dozen openings on trial and appeals courts.

Federal judges, with lifetime appointments, can be a president’s most enduring legacy. President Bush receives uniformly high marks from Republicans for his selection of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

Public attention typically is focused on the Supreme Court, where five justices are older than 70. Speculation about a possible opening centers on Justice John Paul Stevens, 88, but any retirement is unlikely before the summer, if then.

By contrast, 14 seats are open on appeals courts or will be by the end of January. Democratic appointees are a majority on one of the 13 federal appeals courts, the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit.

These are the courts that as a practical matter have the final say on everyday issues that affect millions of people because the Supreme Court accepts fewer than 2 percent of the cases appealed to the justices.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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