Welcome to the Friday, December 17, Brew.
By: Douglas Kronaizl
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- A busy week for Biden’s judicial nominees
- And on the Fifth Day … Candidate Connections
- #FridayTrivia: How many school board recall efforts has Ballotpedia tracked in 2021?
A busy week for Biden’s judicial nominees
Here’s a recap regarding some recent judicial activity in the federal government. Three new federal judges confirmed by the U.S. Senate, 10 more whose nominations were announced, and three nominated to local courts in D.C. Here’s a breakdown.
Within the last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed three of President Joe Biden’s (D) federal judicial nominees to lifetime Article III judgeships:
- Samantha Elliott, to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire on Dec. 15.
- Lucy Koh, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Dec. 13.
- Jennifer Sung, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Dec. 15.
As of Dec. 15, 31 of Biden’s appointees have been confirmed to federal judgeships. Compared to the past six presidents, Ronald Reagan (R) had 31 appointees confirmed by Dec. 3 of his first year, 317 days into his presidency. The remaining five presidents did not have 31 appointees confirmed until their second year in office with Barack Obama (D) coming at the latest at June 15 of his second year, 511 days into his presidency.
On Dec. 15, Biden also announced his intent to nominate nine individuals to Article III judgeships elsewhere in the country and submitted a nomination for a tenth individual (Evelyn Padin) he had announced he would nominate Nov. 3. With these 10, Biden currently has 18 nominees awaiting a committee hearing.
- Jessica Clarke, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Sherilyn Garnett, to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- Hector Gonzalez, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- Kenly Kiya Kato, to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- Nina Morrison, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- Evelyn Padin, to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- William Pocan, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- Jennifer Rochon, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Fred Slaughter, to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- Sunshine Sykes, to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
If all nominees are confirmed, judges appointed by Democratic presidents will outnumber those appointed by Republicans in the U.S. District Courts for the Central District of California and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Judges appointed by Democrats already make up a majority in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of New Jersey.
Washington, D.C., has two local courts: the superior court—a trial court of general jurisdiction—and a court of appeals. Justices on these courts are nominated by the U.S. president after recommendation from the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission. Nominees then face confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Unlike Article III judges who serve for life, D.C. judges are appointed to 15-year renewable terms.
And on the Fifth Day … Candidate Connection
It is the Fifth Day of the 12 Days of Ballotpedia!
Each day, we have been showcasing the different ways Ballotpedia works towards our mission of building a well-informed and engaged citizenry that has a voice in government and can sustain a healthy democracy.
But our work is not free to produce and we need your help to raise $100,000 in December so we can give all Americans more of the information they need to prepare for the 2022 election season.
Over the past week, we have explored a variety of ways Ballotpedia helps keep voters informed, ranging from our unbiased explanations of ballot measures to our coverage of school board elections. Today, we are highlighting one of the most helpful tools for voters making decisions on the ballot: our Candidate Connection survey!
At Ballotpedia, we believe that everyone deserves meaningful, reliable, trustworthy information about their candidates. Our Candidate Connection survey enables voters to hear from their candidates and develop a more rounded, nuanced, and complete understanding of the person behind the campaign slogans so they can feel confident when casting their ballots.
We received nearly 5,000 survey responses from candidates in 2020 – and we’ve already processed hundreds of survey replies for candidates in the 2022 cycle.
Be sure to encourage your local candidates to fill out their Candidate Connection survey, and continue checking your emails and our social media account to see the different ways your support helps Ballotpedia grow! And click here to make your contribution.
P.S. Did you know? A temporary tax rule expiring in 14 days allows for increased deductions for charitable contributions to nonprofits. Don’t miss out on your chance to give!
How many school board recall efforts has Ballotpedia tracked in 2021?
Yesterday was a school board recall election in Wisconsin’s Butternut School District. This year, we have tracked a decade-high number of school board recall efforts, over double that of our next-closest year in 2010. How many school board recall efforts has Ballotpedia tracked in 2021?