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Democrats considering adding seats to lower courts

There are currently 50 vacancies for President Biden to fill.

Updated: January 31, 2021 - 6:35pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Democrats have reportedly raised the prospect of adding seats to the nation's lower courts.

President Joe Biden, who possesses the power to make judicial appointments, has 50 vacancies to fill, including 47 district court openings and three circuit court openings, according to The Hill. The idea of adding more seats has the potential to garner bipartisan backing, the outlet reported.

“I have in the city of Buffalo a huge — they don't have enough judges," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. "There's this long line before you can get to court because they don't have enough. So we could expand those.” 

Senator Dick Durbin has indicated that a GOP lawmaker spoke to him about increasing the quantity of federal judges in his state.

“Interestingly enough, I had a Republican senator who approached me about expanding the number of federal judges in his state so there seems to be some sentiment that there [are] backlogs in the dockets of federal judges,” Durbin said, according to The Hill.

While GOP Sen. John Cornyn has not spoken to Sen. Durbin about the issue, it's an idea he's willing to consider.

“My state’s a big, growing state, and we’ve got huge caseloads. ... I’d be open to having a conversation about that,” Cornyn said, according to the outlet.

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