Published in Maryland Matters
The GOP-controlled U.S. Senate heads into 2020 with few major legislative victories but a significant one on the judicial front: a dramatic reshaping of the federal bench.
Over the past three years, the Senate has confirmed 185 of President Trump’s judicial nominees, more than any of the last five presidents at the same time in their presidencies. That tally includes a raft of nominees approved just before lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the holiday recess.
Trump touted his judicial appointments — including the confirmations of two U.S. Supreme Court justices — as “the most incredible thing” at an Oval Office news conference the day after the U.S. House voted for his impeachment. “It’s unheard of,” Trump said of the appointments. “That’s said to be the most important thing that a president has.”
In addition to the two Supreme Court justices, the Senate has confirmed 50 circuit court and 133 district court judges, most of whom progressive groups have decried as far-right ideologues. Of those, the vast majority are white (85%) and male (75%).