Obama urges 'critical' importance of controlling the courts in appeal to donors

 June 7, 2024

Barack Obama has his eyes on the Senate.

The former president roused Democratic donors to the stakes in 2024 by talking about the power of the judiciary and the importance of appointing as many liberal judges as possible.

Obama spoke at a Potomac, Maryland fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which is dedicated to helping Democrats win Senate races.

Obama's Senate message

Democrats are fighting to protect a slim majority in the Senate, which has the power to confirm judges. Meanwhile, President Trump is running neck-and-neck with Biden in the polls.

"The ability to get judges appointed — never been more critical than it is today," Obama said.

While the courts are supposed to be above politics, they are increasingly seen as coveted tools for securing policy wins in a deeply divided country. Unlike elected officials, federal judges serve for life, and they wield an authority that transcends the deeply polarized partisan climate.

The courts have proven to be a check on the agenda of President Biden, whose party has launched an all-out assault on the conservative Supreme Court and its legitimacy.

Democrats have even floated replacing one of Obama's own Supreme Court appointees, Sonia Sotomayor, to prevent the conservative majority from expanding under a second Trump term.

Battle for the courts

The battle over the judiciary isn't happening on the federal level alone. Obama was a big part of flipping Wisconsin's Supreme Court last year in a hugely expensive race that was unusually political in tone.

The court now appears ready to overturn a ban on ballot drop boxes in the swing state, which will again be crucial for determining White House control.

Despite conservatives' significant judicial gains under President Trump, Biden recently confirmed his 200th judge to the federal bench, a milestone that Obama celebrated in a social media post.

“@POTUS just confirmed his 200th judge — not an easy accomplishment with a narrow majority in the Senate. And more than half are women and people of color," Obama wrote.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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