The Trump administration has 29 judiciary picks confirmed, setting a record for appointing the most federal judges in the short span of two years.
Republican senators are pushing to get a more conservative judiciary system, after years of liberal bias.
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell points out, their efforts will have a lasting impact.
“I love the tax bill and a lot of the other things we did. But I think lifetime appointments — not only to the Supreme Court but to the circuit courts — are the way you have the longest lasting impact on the country,” said McConnell in an interview earlier this month. “The president and his team have sent up, in my view, excellent judges, and we’ve had the unity we’ve needed … to get them confirmed.”
McConnell also helped make sure that a Supreme Court seat and other judge positions remained vacant during Obama’s last year.
However, Republicans have faced tremendous pushback from Democrats, who have tried any tactic to delay these confirmations.
“I expect Democrats to be insisting on significantly more debate and using whatever procedural tools they have at their disposal to slow this down,” said Marge Baker, executive vice president of the People for the American Way.
Democrats have also criticized the rapid appointments claiming they have been rushed and that the judges have not received enough vetting.
Republicans have been making confirmations even with the Senate not in session which Democrats have been quick to condemn.
“An essential part of that vetting process is an opportunity to question nominees in a public hearing,” said the Senate Judiciary Democrats in a recent letter to Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley. “Holding hearings during a recess, when members cannot attend, fails to meet our constitutional advice-and-consent obligations.”
Nonetheless, the Republicans have focused on reshaping the court with new judge confirmations.
“For the most part, they have prioritized appeals court nominees, and that is the right strategy,” said Curt Levey, president of the conservative Committee for Justice.
This approach has evidently paid off.
“McConnell’s pace of filling federal court seats has been eye-popping, especially on the powerful appellate circuits. Addressing the conservative Heritage Foundation on Tuesday night, McConnell touted 29 circuit court judges confirmed since Trump took office, which he described as a record pace “in any administration in history.” That’s 16 percent of the 179 appeals court seats,” writes Politico.
There has been less movement when it comes to district court confirmations, so far there have been 53 district judges placed. There remain 132 vacancies.
Conservatives are hoping to fulfill the lower court with more right-leaning judges as well.
“If the Republican [lawmakers] are smart, they will stress this because people aren’t dumb. They know that the federal judiciary is more than just the Supreme Court,” said Levey.
In total, Trump has made 84 appointments, which is almost double the 43 that former President Obama made in October of 2010.
Author’s note: Things are really moving right along. This will be one of Trump’s most important legacies. He is changing the face of the judiciary system and there will finally be a conservative majority for possibly the next two generations.