The Senate’s steady confirmation of President Biden’s judicial nominees will continue for two more years, after Democrats retained the chamber in last week's elections. With control of the House uncertain, but Republicans still favored, the legislative agenda for the next Congress remains up in the air. The Senate outcome provides Democrats with at least one guarantee: that they will be able to unilaterally confirm Biden’s judges and executive branch nominees, Politico reports. Going into the midterm election with Republicans favored to win the House, judges were a top prize that came with winning the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made clear that if Republicans took back the majority, the Senate would no longer be a “rubber stamp” for Biden’s judges. After blocking former President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016, McConnell declined to say whether he would consider a Biden Supreme Court pick next year. Senatee Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Senate Democrats have been committed to restoring balance to the federal judiciary with professionally and personally diverse judges." Biden’s pace of judicial confirmation has been on par with that of former President Trump. Democrats have confirmed 84 judges, have 57 judicial nominees pending and 117 announced vacancies.
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