In recent years, the importance of judicial nominations and the federal courts have come more squarely into focus. Federal courts decide cases involving the U.S. Constitution and laws passed by Congress. Federal judges make decisions that affect every facet of our lives, from health care, to retirement, to the right to organize. These judges also serve lifetime appointments, meaning that their rulings will certainly impact generations to come.
Judicial seats across the federal courts — the Supreme Court, the District Courts and the Court of Appeals, are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The last three years have been disastrous for working families and civil and human rights in terms of the type of judges getting lifetime appointments to federal slots. During this time, approximately 200 federal judges have been installed, more than one in four circuit judges. A vast number of these justices are extremely hostile to labor rights.

The UAW firmly believes that the selection of judicial nominations should be treated with the utmost scrutiny and concern. Critical civil and human rights issues hang in the balance, including access to health care for millions of Americans, labor rights, civil rights, economic security, voting rights and the rights of immigrants.


Federal judges, many of whom are hostile to labor, are being confirmed at a breakneck speed as long-standing traditions and rules have been brushed aside. In 2019, 320, or 75% of the Senate’s votes were on nominees for federal courts and executive branch changes.

By stacking the federal courts with anti-worker and anti-civil rights judges, our court system and all Americans will be impacted for decades.

Conservative judges on the Supreme Court and lower courts are ruling on cases that impact the lives of working people ranging from health care, voting rights, labor and health and safety in the workplace.

To date, the Senate has confirmed 200 judges (2 Supreme Court, 53 Circuit Courts, 143 District Courts, and U.S. Court of International Trade.) The lack of diversity among recently appointed federal judges is significant. Of the 200 confirmations, 152 (76%) were men, 171 (85.5%) were white, and 131 (65.5%) were white men.

The fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is pending before the Supreme Court. The entire ACA could be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in a lawsuit known as California v. Texas (formerly Texas v. Azar) which would eliminate health care coverage for millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.

The Supreme Court hears approximately 2% of the cases it is asked to review each year. This means that the vast majority of cases filed in federal courts are ultimately decided by judges sitting on the district or circuit courts.


The Supreme Court

Federal judge appointees

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appointees

Rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution

Laws passed by Congress on a range of issues: labor, health care, voting rights, and health and safety standards

Reshaping the federal judiciary with extremist judges

DEMOCRAT – Joseph Biden and the Courts

Biden has said he will appoint U.S. Supreme Court Justices and federal judges who look like America, are committed to the rule of law, understand the importance of individual civil rights and civil liberties in a democratic society, and respect foundational precedents like Brown vs. Board of Education.

The group of more than 300 Obama-Biden nominated judges is one of the most diverse groups in U.S. history in terms of gender, ethnicity and nationality.

Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayer were nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court under the Obama-Biden Administration. Kagan is the fourth woman in history to be nominated to the Supreme Court and Sotomayer is the first Hispanic female Supreme Court Justice.


Voters have a hand in determining the composition of the courts when voting for Senators and the next President. This is because the President has the sole power to nominate judges and only the Senate can confirm judges. Fortunately, you can stop activist judges by voting for Senators and the next President who will uphold laws that protect workers’ right to organize and civil and human rights.

While the courts may not be the first issue you think of when casting your vote during election season, it is important to remember that federal judges make sweeping decisions on a wide range of U.S. laws and decide cases involving the U.S. Constitution. Before voting, make sure you know where Senators and Presidential candidates stand on judicial nominations. Let them know that you care about the courts and judges who serve lifetime appointments.

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