Fact of the Day: Democrats and Republicans Have Appointed the Same Number of Judges

Donald Trump has been a busy bee when it comes to appointing federal judges. Nevertheless, the federal judiciary is split about evenly between the parties, with 51 percent of active judges appointed by Democrats and 49 percent appointed by Republicans:

There’s a bigger difference at the top of the judiciary. Among circuit court judges, which in practice are the final arbiters of most case law, Republicans have appointed 55 percent of all active judges and Democrats only 45 percent. However, the DC circuit—often considered a “farm team” for the Supreme Court because it deals largely with key cases involving federal agencies—is safely in Democratic hands despite strenuous efforts of Republicans to keep this from happening. At the highest level, 67 percent of Supreme Court judges will be Republican-appointed once Trump’s replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg is confirmed. With the exception of a couple of years in the early ’90s, this will be the first time in decades that the Supreme Court wasn’t balanced 5-4 (or 4½-4½, depending on how you view things). Here’s a breakdown of what the federal judiciary currently looks like:

Finally, here’s a chart from the Economist that estimates the ideology of the Supreme Court over the past 70 years:

As you can see, aside from a short and small liberal tilt during the Obama administration, the Supreme Court has been conservative ever since the Nixon era. It’s now conservative again, and replacing Ginsburg with a conservative justice will make it even more so.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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