The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s 150th federal judicial nominee on Tuesday, meaning 37 more nominees must be confirmed by the end of the year for him to match former President Donald Trump’s pace.

Trump, who appointed a total of 234 federal judges, had 187 judges confirmed by the end of the third year of his term, according to the American Constitution Society. The White House highlighted the “diversity” of Biden’s 150 confirmed picks in its announcement Tuesday, pointing to the two-thirds of confirmed appointees who are women and the nearly two-thirds who are people of color.

“All of these men and women are highly qualified, faithful to the rule of law, and dedicated to the Constitution,” the White House said in a statement. “They come from professional backgrounds that have for far too long been underrepresented on the bench—from labor and immigration attorneys to public defenders and civil rights lawyers.”

George Washington University law professor John Collins told Reuters that Trump’s number is out of reach for Biden due to many of the vacancies being in states with a Republican senator and Biden inheriting half the amount of vacancies as Trump. Home-state senators can delay confirmations of judges by withholding “blue slips” supporting the nominee.

Julia Kobick was confirmed by a 52-46 vote to the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, becoming the 150th appointee and 100th woman confirmed under Biden. She previously worked as deputy state solicitor in the Massachusetts’ attorney general’s office and clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to Reuters.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenly Kato was also confirmed Tuesday by a 51-46 party-line vote to the U.S. District Court for Central California.

Nearly half of Biden’s nominees previously worked as a public defender or civil rights lawyer, according to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Additionally, nine identify as LGBTQ, and the Leadership Conference expects Biden’s final number of LGBTQ appointees to surpass former President Barack Obama’s 11.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on two nominees, Mustafa Taher Kasubhai for the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and Eumi K. Lee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

During Kasubhai’s confirmation hearing, Republican senators tore into his record, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz calling his views on sexuality “radical.” Kusabhai advocates for the use of pronouns in the courtroom and has called diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) “the heart and soul of the court system.”

“Many Biden nominees have been extreme, but your record is so far out of the mainstream that you have attracted virtually all of the questions,” Cruz told Kasubhai during his hearing.

Katelynn Richardson on November 8, 2023

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