Trump heads into 2020 with ‘historic’ judicial appointments
President Trump is closing the year by increasing his already transformative impact on the federal judiciary, with 13 of his district court nominees receiving confirmation this month.
That brings Trump’s total to 102 federal judges confirmed in 2019. Over the course of his administration, that total jumps to 187, including 50 to circuit courts of appeal and two Supreme Court justices.
“In terms of quality and quantity, we are going to be just about No. 1 by the time we finish — No. 1 of any president, any administration,” Trump said in early November, noting that George Washington may have technically appointed more judges. At the time, he was celebrating his 150th federal judge.
The 9th Circuit in particular, which Trump has railed against as a “big thorn in our side” in the past due to its liberal bent, has seen a dramatic change in its makeup over the past three years, with 10 of its 29 active seats now being held by Trump appointees, and nearly half being held by appointees of Republican administrations.
Much of this is thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has helped push nominees through the Senate, even while combatting House Democrats as they impeach the president.
“My motto for the remainder of this Congress is ‘leave no vacancy behind,’” McConnell told Hugh Hewitt in a Wednesday radio interview.
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