“What President Trump has done with judicial selection and appointments is probably at the very center of his legacy, and may well be his greatest accomplishments thus far,” Leonard Leo, an outside adviser to the White House on judicial selection and executive vice president of the Federalist Society, told the Washington Examiner.
“By the end of this year, he probably will have transformed about 30 percent of the federal appellate courts in our country, and that’s quite significant when put against other administrations in modern history,"
Trump's stealth victory: Reshaping the courts
by Melissa Quinn
There are currently 80 Trump judicial nominees in the Senate pipeline between the appeals courts, district courts, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has said he's pushing to have the Senate vote on every appeals court nominee—seven are currently pending in the Senate and there are 14 current vacancies—by November.
Already, the upper chamber has confirmed 21 of the president's picks to the appeals courts, nominees to which Republican Senate leaders have placed a priority.
Republicans are hoping to continue with this pace, and they realize the Senate is having an impact. After six more judges were confirmed by the Senate in the last 10 days, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the effort is starting to bear fruit.
“One-eighth — one-eighth — of the circuit judges in America have been appointed by Donald Trump and confirmed by this Republican Senate,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “We think we’re making dramatic progress on that front.”
And Republicans are hoping to go even faster.
Democrats have been mostly left to hope that they can somehow win back the Senate and once more take control of the agenda, which might be their only real option.
“What happens with the midterm elections will have real impact on this,” Leo said. “If the Senate changes hands, all bets are off, and frankly, I think it’s highly unlikely we will see any court of appeals confirmations at least.”
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