This, from the NYTimes (here) is important:
"Democratic appointees who hear cases full time now hold a majority of
seats on nine of the 13 United States Courts of Appeals. When Mr. Obama
took office, only one of those courts had more full-time judges
nominated by a Democrat."
Taking a majority of seats on important appeals courts has required playing the Republican game of politics their way--brute force--but has given American some breathing room against the GOP's stranglehold on our individual rights. If we can get one of the five right-wing seats before Obama's second term ends, the Supreme Court will be tipped back toward the middle, as well and that legacy could be lasting.
George Bush appointed either two or three of the worst Supremes we've had in a long, long time (including John Roberts as the head man: "Roberts Court" it is).