Bloomberg Law
Nov. 5, 2021, 9:14 PM

New York-Based Second Circuit Gives Biden Yet Another Vacancy

Madison Alder
Madison Alder

Judge Susan Carney will step back from her role as an active judge on the New York-based federal appeals court, giving President Joe Biden another appointment to the chief venue for cases involving corporations and Wall Street.

In a Nov. 4 letter to Biden, Carney said she intends to take a form of semi-retirement afforded to judges known as senior status upon the confirmation and appointment of her successor.

“It has been a profound honor and privilege to serve as an active judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for the past ten years,” Carney said. She was appointed by Barack Obama in 2011.

The Second Circuit, which Biden has already impacted the most, encompasses New York, Connecticut and Vermont.

Carney’s announcement comes the same week that Biden “flipped” the Second Circuit to a majority of Democratic appointees with the confirmation of Beth Robinson and adds to two existing future vacancies he already has to fill there.

The party of an appointing president isn’t an exact measure of judicial philosophy, but it’s often used as an indication of how a circuit court leans. The composition of a court can be important in en banc cases before the full court.

Biden could give the court a more liberal edge when he replaces Judge José Cabranes, a Bill Clinton appointee who often votes with the court’s conservatives. Cabranes and fellow Clinton appointee Rosemary Pooler both announced they’d take a form of semi-retirement known as senior status in October.

To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Alder in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at; John Crawley at