on the bench
Presiding as judge in a law court, as in Lawyers are very careful when Judge Brown is on the bench. This usage alludes to the seat occupied by a judge. [Late 1200s]
Waiting for a chance to participate; also, removed from participation. For example, Mary complained that all her colleagues were going to the sales conference while she was left on the bench. This usage comes from baseball and other sports, where players not deemed ready or competent to play sit on a bench watching the game. [Early 1900s]
Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.