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    List of presidents of the United States by judicial appointments

    List of presidents of the United States by judicial appointments

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    As the first president, George Washington appointed the entire federal judiciary. His record of eleven Supreme Court appointments still stands.

    President Ronald Reagan appointed 383 federal judges, more than any other president.

    Following is a list indicating the number of Article III federal judicial appointments made by each president of the United States. The number of judicial offices has risen significantly from the time when Washington's 39 appointments were sufficient to maintain the entire federal judiciary for eight years. As of January 2020, there are 874 authorized Article III judgeships – 9 on the Supreme Court, 179 on the Courts of Appeals, 677 for the district courts including 10 temporary judgeships, and 9 on the United States Court of International Trade.[1]

    To date, Ronald Reagan has appointed the largest number of federal judges, with 383, followed closely by Bill Clinton with 378. William Henry Harrison, who died 31 days after his inauguration, is the only president to have appointed no federal judges.


    1 How appointments are counted

    2 Judicial appointments by president

    3 Article I appointments

    4 See also 5 Notes 6 Sources

    How appointments are counted[edit]

    In many instances, the number of judgeships appointed is fewer than the number of appointed as judges, because a president may appoint the same person as a judge to different courts over the course of his presidency. For example, Donald Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett to the Seventh Circuit, and later appointed her to the Supreme Court. There are also instances in which an individual is appointed to multiple district courts in a single state. For example, Donald Trump appointed John F. Heil III to the Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma.

    In some rare instances, a federal judge resigns their judgeship, and is later reappointed to a federal judgeship – possibly even to the same court – by a different president. A noted example of this is that of Charles Evans Hughes, who resigned from the United States Supreme Court to run for president against Woodrow Wilson, and was later returned to the court as Chief Justice of the United States by Herbert Hoover. Another rare situation occurs where a court that has not been specifically designated as an Article III court is transformed into an Article III court. This occurred in 1958 when the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals was changed from an Article I court to an Article III court. In that case, judges who were not initially appointed to an Article III court may become Article III judges without being specifically appointed by the sitting president, or approved by the sitting Senate. However, judges on such bodies have previously been appointed to Article I courts by the president, and those appointments have been approved by the Senate, which must also vote in favor of the legislation that would change the status of such judges. Appointments to Article I courts are not counted in each president's total number of appointments.

    The list does not include nominees who were rejected by Congress before having served, but does include the twenty-two recess appointments who were not confirmed by the Senate after having served for some period. The most famous instance of such a post-appointment rejection is that of George Washington's recess appointment of John Rutledge as Chief Justice during a congressional recess in July, 1795. Because of Rutledge's political views and occasional mental illness, the Senate rejected his nomination in December of that year, and Rutledge subsequently attempted suicide and then resigned.

    Judicial appointments by president[edit]

    Because appointees to the short-lived United States Commerce Court were duly appointed as United States circuit judges, they are counted as circuit judges. Those individuals appointed to the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and the United States Court of Claims during the period those courts existed as Article III Courts are counted as circuit judges. Individuals appointed to the United States Customs Court during its existence as an Article III Court and to the United States Court of International Trade are counted as district judges.

    All judicial appointments Currently active[2] Currently senior status[2]

    President Supreme Court

    justices Circuit judges District judges Total Supreme Court

    justices Circuit judges District judges Total Supreme Court

    justices Circuit judges District judges Total

    George Washington 11 – 28 39

    John Adams 3 16 4 23

    Thomas Jefferson 3 7 9 19

    James Madison 2 2 9 13

    James Monroe 1 – 21 22

    John Quincy Adams 1 – 11 12

    Andrew Jackson 5 – 18 23

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    U.S. Senate: Supreme Court Nominations (1789

    _Supreme Court Nominations (1789-Present)

    Supreme Court Nominations (1789-Present)

    The Constitution requires the president to submit nominations to the Senate for its advice and consent. Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, presidents have submitted 165 nominations for the Court, including those for chief justice. Of this total, 128 were confirmed (7 declined to serve). This chart lists nominations officially submitted to the Senate.

    Nominee To Replace Nominated* Vote** Result & Date***

    President Biden, Joseph R., Jr.

    Jackson, Ketanji Brown Breyer Feb 28, 2022 53-47  No.  134 C Apr 7, 2022

    President Trump, Donald

    Barrett, Amy Coney Ginsburg Sep 29, 2020 52-48  No.  224 C Oct 26, 2020

    Kavanaugh, Brett Kennedy Jul 10, 2018 50-48  No.  223 C Oct 6, 2018

    Gorsuch, Neil M. Scalia Feb 1, 2017 54-45  No.  111 C Apr 7, 2017

    President Obama, Barack

    Garland, Merrick B. Scalia Mar 16, 2016 N

    Kagan, Elena Stevens May 10, 2010 63-37  No.  229 C Aug 5, 2010

    Sotomayor, Sonia Souter Jun 1, 2009 68-31  No.  262 C Aug 6, 2009

    President Bush, George W.

    Alito, Samuel A., Jr. O'Connor Nov 10, 2005 58-42  No.  2 C Jan 31, 2006

    Miers, Harriet O'Connor Oct 7, 2005 W Oct 28, 2005

    Roberts, John G., Jr.1 Rehnquist Sep 6, 2005 78-22  No.  245 C Sep 29, 2005

    Roberts, John G., Jr. O'Connor Jul 29, 2005 W Sep 6, 2005

    President Clinton, Bill

    Breyer, Stephen G. Blackmun May 17, 1994 87-9  No.  242 C Jul 29, 1994

    Ginsburg, Ruth Bader White Jun 22, 1993 96-3  No.  232 C Aug 3, 1993

    President Bush, George H.W.

    Thomas, Clarence Marshall Jul 8, 1991 52-48  No.  220 C Oct 15, 1991

    Souter, David H. Brennan Jul 25, 1990 90-9  No.  259 C Oct 2, 1990

    President Reagan, Ronald

    Kennedy, Anthony M. Powell Nov 30, 1987 97-0  No.  16 C Feb 3, 1988

    Bork, Robert H. Powell Jul 7, 1987 42-58  No.  348 R Oct 23, 1987

    Scalia, Antonin Rehnquist Jun 24, 1986 98-0  No.  267 C Sep 17, 1986

    Rehnquist, William H. 2 Burger Jun 20, 1986 65-33  No.  266 C Sep 17, 1986

    O'Connor, Sandra Day Stewart Aug 19, 1981 99-0  No.  274 C Sep 21, 1981

    President Ford, Gerald

    Stevens, John Paul Douglas Nov 28, 1975 98-0  No.  603 C Dec 17, 1975

    President Nixon, Richard

    Rehnquist, William H. Harlan Oct 22, 1971 68-26  No.  450 C Dec 10, 1971

    Powell, Lewis F., Jr. Black Oct 22, 1971 89-1  No.  439 C Dec 6, 1971

    Blackmun, Harry Fortas Apr 15, 1970 94-0  No.  143 C May 12, 1970

    Carswell, G. Harrold Fortas Jan 19, 1970 45-51  No.  122 R Apr 8, 1970

    Haynsworth, Clement, Jr. Fortas Aug 21, 1969 45-55  No.  154 R Nov 21, 1969

    Burger, Warren 3 Warren May 23, 1969 74-3  No.  35 C Jun 9, 1969

    President Johnson, Lyndon

    Thornberry, Homer Fortas Jun 26, 1968 W Oct 4, 1968

    Fortas, Abe 4 Warren Jun 26, 1968 W Oct 4, 1968

    Marshall, Thurgood Clark Jun 13, 1967 69-11  No.  240 C Aug 30, 1967

    Fortas, Abe Goldberg Jul 28, 1965 V C Aug 11, 1965

    President Kennedy, John

    Goldberg, Arthur Frankfurter Aug 31, 1962 V C Sep 25, 1962

    White, Byron Whittaker Apr 3, 1962 V C Apr 11, 1962

    President Eisenhower, Dwight

    Stewart, Potter Burton Jan 17, 1959 70-17 C May 5, 1959

    Whittaker, Charles Reed Mar 2, 1957 V C Mar 19, 1957

    Brennan, William, Jr. Minton Jan 14, 1957 V C Mar 19, 1957

    Harlan, John Jackson Jan 10, 1955 71-11 C Mar 16, 1955

    Harlan, John Jackson Nov 9, 1954 N

    Warren, Earl 5 Vinson Jan 11, 1954 V C Mar 1, 1954

    President Truman, Harry

    Minton, Sherman Rutledge Sep 15, 1949 48-16 C Oct 4, 1949

    Clark, Tom Murphy Aug 2, 1949 73-8 C Aug 18, 1949

    Vinson, Fred 6 Stone Jun 6, 1946 V C Jun 20, 1946

    Burton, Harold Roberts Sep 18, 1945 V C Sep 19, 1945

    President Roosevelt, Franklin

    Rutledge, Wiley Byrnes Jan 11, 1943 V C Feb 8, 1943

    Jackson, Robert Stone Jun 12, 1941 V C Jul 7, 1941

    Byrnes, James McReynolds Jun 12, 1941 V C Jun 12, 1941

    Stone, Harlan 7 Hughes Jun 12, 1941 V C Jun 27, 1941

    Murphy, Frank Butler Jan 4, 1940 V C Jan 16, 1940

    Douglas, William Brandeis Mar 20, 1939 62-4 C Apr 4, 1939

    Frankfurter, Felix Cardozo Jan 5, 1939 V C Jan 17, 1939

    Reed, Stanley Sutherland Jan 15, 1938 V C Jan 25, 1938

    Black, Hugo Van Devanter Aug 12, 1937 63-16 C Aug 17, 1937

    President Hoover, Herbert

    Cardozo, Benjamin Holmes Feb 15, 1932 V C Feb 24, 1932

    Roberts, Owen Sanford May 9, 1930 V C May 20, 1930

    Parker, John Sanford Mar 21, 1930 39-41 R May 7, 1930

    Hughes, Charles 8 Taft Feb 3, 1930 52-26 C Feb 13, 1930

    President Coolidge, Calvin

    Stone, Harlan McKenna Jan 5, 1925 71-6 C Feb 5, 1925

    President Harding, Warren

    Sanford, Edward Pitney Jan 24, 1923 V C Jan 29, 1923

    Butler, Pierce Day Dec 5, 1922 61-8 C Dec 21, 1922

    Butler, Pierce Day Nov 21, 1922 N

    Sutherland, George Clarke Sep 5, 1922 V C Sep 5, 1922

    Taft, William 9 White Jun 30, 1921 60-4 C Jun 30, 1921

    President Wilson, Woodrow

    Clarke, John Hughes Jul 14, 1916 V C Jul 24, 1916

    Source : www.senate.gov

    Federal judicial appointments by president

    Ballotpedia: The Encyclopedia of American Politics

    Federal judicial appointments by president


    U.S. Federal CourtsVacancies and Nominations

    Judicial vacancies in federal courts • Judicial vacancies during the Biden administration • Federal judges nominated by Joe Biden • Federal judicial appointments by president • Supreme Court vacancy, 2022

    ABA ratings of presidential federal judicial nominees • ABA ratings during the Biden administration • ABA ratings during the Trump administration

    This page provides an overview of the number of federal judges appointed by each president, a historical comparison of presidential judgeship appointments from 1933 to 2021, and a comparison of appointments over time by president and court type from 1945 to 2022. The historical comparisons are updated at the end of a presidency, and the data on appointments over time is updated monthly.

    As of the monthly federal vacancy count report for May 1, 2022, President Joe Biden (D) had made 60 Article III judicial appointments.[1]


    President Ronald Reagan (R) appointed the most federal judges during his presidency from 1981 to 1989 with 402 confirmations.[2][3]

    Presidents Bill Clinton (D) and George W. Bush (R) followed with 387 confirmations and 340 confirmations, respectively.[3]

    President William Henry Harrison (Whig), who died a month into his presidency in 1841, is the only president to make no federal judicial appointments.

    President Jimmy Carter (D) made the most judicial appointments relative to his tenure in the White House. He averaged 65.5 judicial appointments per year during his one term in office.

    President George Washington made the most appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, appointing 10 judges to the Court. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed eight justices during his four terms in office.[4]

    To read more about how judicial vacancies are filled by the president, click here.

    Total judicial appointments by president

    The following chart shows the total judgeship appointments made by each president from 1901 to 2021.

    The following chart shows the judgeship appointments by court made by each president from 1901 to 2021. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is abbreviated as USCAFC. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims, previously known as the U.S. Court of Claims, is abbreviated USCFC.

    The following chart shows the average number of judicial appointments per year in office by presidents from 1901 to 2021.

    Active Article III judges by appointing president

    This data includes current federal judges and does not reflect the total number of judges appointed by each president.

    Comparison of Article III judicial appointments by president (May 1, Year 2)

    The chart below details the number of Article III judicial appointments during each president's first term at four specific dates: on their inauguration day (January 20th), May 1 of the second year, December 31 of the second year, and December 31 of the fourth year. It includes Presidents Ronald Reagan (R) through Joe Biden (D).

    The average number of judicial appointees per president through May 1 of the second year is 44.

    President Joe Biden (D) made the most appointments through May 1 of his second year with 60, followed by President Ronald Reagan (R) with 58. President Barack Obama (D) made the fewest with 21.

    President Donald Trump (R) made the most appointments through four years with 234. President Ronald Reagan (R) made the fewest through four years with 166.

    President Inauguration Day May 1, second year End of second year December 31 of fourth year

    Joe Biden 0 60 TBD TBD

    Donald Trump 0 33 85 234

    Barack Obama 0 21 62 173

    George W. Bush 0 52 100 204

    Bill Clinton 0 47 128 203

    George H.W. Bush 0 35 71 193

    Ronald Reagan 0 58 88 166

    Comparison of Article III judicial appointments over time by president and court type (May 1, Year 2)

    As of May 1, 2022, the breakdown of Article III judges is as follows:

    Supreme Court of the United States: 9 justices

    United States court of appeals: 179 judgeships

    United States district court: 677 judgeships

    United States Court of International Trade: 9 judgeships

    The table and chart below show the number of Article III judges confirmed by the U.S. Senate under each of the last seven presidents as of May 1 of their second year in office. The confirmations are broken up by court type.

    The median number of Supreme Court appointees is one. Five presidents (Reagan, Clinton, Obama, Trump, and Biden) made one appointment. Two presidents (H.W. Bush and W. Bush) had not appointed any.

    The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 12. Presidents Biden and Trump tied for the most appointees with 15, followed by President Reagan with 13. President Clinton appointed the fewest with five.

    The median number of United States District Court appointees is 41. Presidents Biden and Reagan tied for the most appointees with 44, followed by President W. Bush with 43. President Obama appointed the fewest with 11.

    Source : ballotpedia.org

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