President Donald Trump has managed to reach a new milestone in his first term: Thanks to Republican control of the Senate, he’s managed to have 50 appeals court judges confirmed to the federal bench.
“FIFTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES!” Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network, wrote on Twitter, in all caps.
“Despite unrelenting Democratic obstruction and smear campaigns, [President Trump] and [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] have fought hard to ensure that judicial vacancies are filled with the best and brightest legal minds—for decades to come,” Severino noted further.
The policy director was referring to the Senate confirmation of Lawrence VanDyke to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals during a closely watched 51–44 vote in the U.S. Senate.
The vote came just one day after the chamber confirmed Trump nominee Patrick Bumatay to the same circuit court, on a vote of 53–40.
The 9th Circuit has been historically known as being very liberal, but the president’s nominees to that court are expected to balance it out if not change its leanings altogether.
President Trump is making faster progress on judicial confirmations than his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Also, Trump’s judges are likely to serve on the bench longer, according to a Fox News analysis, because Obama’s judges were, “on average, approximately 10 years older,” the analysis said.
During his two terms, Obama nominated 55 circuit judges, all confirmed.
Obama “nominated a total of 55 circuit judges who were confirmed over eight years—and Obama’s nominees were, on average, approximately 10 years older.”
Of the 30 active seats on the 9th Circuit, 10 have been filled by Trump, and 14 by Republican presidents, the Fox News analysis states.
“Only nine of the court’s 19 semi-retired ‘senior status’ judges were appointed by Democrats, with 10 by Republicans. That’s a major change from early last year, when only six judges on the Ninth Circuit were chosen by Republicans,” it says.