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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are considering expanding the number of judges in district and circuit courts to offset former President Donald Trump’s appointment of more than 200 judges to the federal bench during his four years in office.
During an interview Monday night with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Schumer (D-NY) was asked how the Senate will be able to rebalance the judiciary after Trump “stacked” it with conservatives.
“Fifty-one votes allows us to put judges on the bench and report them out of committee. And there will be lots of vacancies that come up. And I think there are a lot of judges, Democratic appointees, who didn’t take senior status while Trump was president, who now will and they stay on the bench, but then we get to fill it,” he said.
“So, first, we can fill up a lot,” he said.
“Second, traditionally, we have increased the number in the lower and circuit courts. I have in the city of Buffalo a huge — they don’t have enough judges. There’s this long line before you can get to court because they don’t have enough. So we could expand those,” he said, referring to district and circuit courts.
As for expanding the US Supreme Court, Schumer said that’s “the big one.”
He said President Biden has put together a commission to study increasing seats on the court to more than nine justices, which will issue a report in 180 days.
Schumer wouldn’t say whether he supports that, instead saying he’ll wait for the commission report.
Trump appointed 226 federal judges to the appeals and district courts, according to the Federal Judicial Center.
He also has three appointees sitting on the Supreme Court — Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.
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