The Corner

Law & the Courts

Senate Confirms Amy Coney Barrett’s Replacement on Federal Appeals Court

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett attends her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, October 12, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/Reuters Pool)

On Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate confirmed Thomas Kirsch as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kirsch, who had been serving as a U.S. attorney in Indiana, will fill the seat vacated by Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett. The Senate confirmation vote was 51–44, and the only Democrats who voted “yes” were Arizona senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and West Virginia senator Joe Manchin.

Kirsch is the 54th appeals court judge nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. Nearly half of those judges were confirmed after the 2018 midterm elections in which Senate Republicans expanded their majority by two seats. Those 54 judges now account for 30 percent of all appeals court judges.

During President Obama’s two terms in office, he appointed a total of 55 appeals court judges


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