President Joe Biden (D) had appointed and the U.S. Senate had confirmed 143 Article III federal judges through October 1 of his third year in office. This is the fourth-most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since President Ronald Reagan (R).
Four additional Biden nominees were confirmed between October 1 and October 18. As of October 18, the Senate had confirmed 147 of Biden’s judicial nominees: 110 district court judges, 36 appeals court judges, and one Supreme Court justice.
The average number of federal judges appointed by previous presidents through October 1 of their third year in office is 133.7. At that point in his presidency, President Bill Clinton (D) had the most appointees confirmed with 166, followed by President George W. Bush (R) at 160. The Senate had confirmed 152 of President Donald Trump’s (R) appointees at this point in his term, while President Barack Obama (D) had the fewest confirmations at 98.
The median number of Supreme Court justices appointed at this point in a presidency is one. Three presidents (Reagan, H.W. Bush, and Biden) appointed a single justice. Three presidents (Clinton, Obama, and Trump) appointed two, and W. Bush did not appoint any by this point in his presidency.
The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees at this point in a presidency is 28. Trump appointed the most with 43, while Obama appointed the least with 20. Biden’s 36 appointments make up 20% of the total 179 judgeships across the courts of appeal.
The median number of United States District Court appointees at this point in a presidency is 105. Clinton appointed the most with 135, followed by W. Bush at 130. Obama appointed the least with 76, and H.W. Bush appointed 77. By October 1, 2023, Biden had appointed 106 district court judges. Those appointments make up 16% of the 677 judgeships across the district courts.
Article III federal judges are appointed for life terms by the president of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate per Article III of the United States Constitution. Article III judges include judges on the: Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. courts of appeal, U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade.