The death this week of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt gives President Trump the opportunity to boost the number of Republican-appointed judges on the famously liberal-leaning court, with seven seats now open.
But legal experts say filling all of those vacancies could be a stretch because of partisan wrangling in the Senate.
Of the 22 active judges on the bench — the court is authorized to have 29 judgeships — 16 were nominated by Democratic presidents, and six were nominated by Republicans.
But with Reinhardt’s death, Trump will have the opportunity to fill seven vacancies to the San Francisco-based appeals court.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias said.