Let's Stop Pretending The Supreme Court Is Nonpartisan
Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn't the first justice to talk politics, folks.LEARN MORE
The president-elect will get to fill a lot of judicial vacancies right from the start, and Senate Democrats won't have much power to check him.
When President-elect Donald Trump takes office, he'll have an immediate opportunity to reshape the federal court system.
Obviously, the big one is getting to pick a new Supreme Court justice. But Trump will also have to fill over 100 vacancies in the federal courts.
That's about double the number of vacancies President Barack Obama inherited when he took office.
The Republican-held Senate has been reluctant to let Obama fill those empty seats. They'll probably drag their feet less under Trump.
And Senate Democrats might not have much say in the appointment process. Thanks to a 2013 rule change spearheaded by Democrats, Trump will only need to collect a simple majority of 51 votes to confirm his appointments.
Even though Obama will be leaving office with his pick for the Supreme Court in limbo, he successfully filled at least 329 judicial positions over his term. He also appointed a record number of female, minority and openly LGBTQ judges.
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