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First Biden Judicial Confirmation of 2022 Is Ninth Circuit Pick

Jan. 12, 2022, 10:58 PM

Gabriel Sanchez on Wednesday became the third of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees to be confirmed to the largest federal appeals court.

Recording the first judicial confirmation of 2022, the Senate voted 52-47 to send the California state appellate judge to the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Sanchez’s confirmation comes after a historic first year in judicial nominations for the Biden administration. In 2021, Biden beat out every modern president since Ronald Reagan for the most district and circuit confirmations. Of his 40 confirmations to lifetime federal judgeships, 11 were to circuit courts and 29 were to district courts.

Sanchez will join Biden nominees Jennifer Sung and Lucy Koh on the Ninth Circuit. And a fourth Ninth Circuit nominee, Holly Thomas, whose nomination already cleared a procedural vote, awaits a confirmation vote.

There are currently 32 nominees to lifetime appointments awaiting Senate action, including six circuit nominees.

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