Federal judges and Supreme Court Justices are selected for lifetime appointments by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They may only be replaced after resignation, retirement, or impeachment, which is why the ideological composition of the courts is so important.
The courts will determine the future of issues such as religious discrimination, Obamacare, abortion rights, gun rights, and a host of other issues of concern to the LGBTQ community.
Related: Voting deadlines, registration & what’s at stake for LGBTQ voters in 2020
District Court Judge Appointees Confirmed:
Obama (2 terms) — 268
Trump (1 term) — 161
Court of Appeals Judge Appointees Confirmed:
Obama (2 terms) — 55
Trump (1 term) — 53
Supreme Court Justice Appointees Confirmed:
Obama (2 terms) — 2*
Trump (1 term) — 2, with 1 pending**
*Obama was blocked 11 months 2016 election year by the Republican Senate majority from appointing a third Supreme Court Justice, Merrick Garland.
**If Trump Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed by the Senate one month before the election as expected, the Supreme Court will become 6-3 with a Republican majority.