Bloomberg Law
Dec. 7, 2021, 8:05 PM

Third Circuit Vacancy Gives Biden Chance to Shift Court Balance

Madison Alder
Madison Alder

A vacancy on the Philadelphia-based circuit court gives Joe Biden an opportunity to evenly split membership of that bench between appointees of Republican and Democratic presidents.

Judge D. Brooks Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit took a form of semi-retirement known as senior status on Dec. 4, deputy circuit executive Joel McHugh said. Smith, who recently ended his tenure as chief judge of the court, is an appointee of George W. Bush, a Republican.

The announcement opens the door for Biden, a Democrat, to name Smith’s successor and even the balance of the court between ...

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