The Senate confirmed 15 of President Trump’s judicial picks Thursday night after GOP leaders reached a deal with Democrats, clearing about a third of the backlog and closing up shop through Election Day to give senators a chance to campaign. Three of the judges are for the powerful circuit courts of appeals, while the other 12 were for district court positions. Many cleared on near-party line votes, while others were approved by voice votes. They were the first judicial confirmations since last weekend’s vote on Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. Some Republicans had hoped senators would stay in town to work on all 49 judicial picks who’d been ready for floor votes. But the 15 was the best deal the GOP could get, representing the amount of judges who could realistically have been confirmed if the Senate had devoted full time to confirmations over the next few weeks. Liberal activists were incensed that Democratic leaders agreed to the votes. “This deal was totally unnecessary and it is a bitter pill to swallow so soon after the Kavanaugh fight that so many progressive activists poured their hearts and souls into,” said Chris Kang, chief counsel for Demand Justice. Conservative activists had been hoping for even more judges, but were enthusiastic about the 15 who did clear. “I’d love for them to stay and grind them into the ground over the next four weeks, but truth be told, if you got 15 — that’s huge,” said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government. The three circuit court nominees confirmed were David Porter for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a 50-45 vote; Ryan Douglas Nelson for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 51-44; and Richard J. Sullivan for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 79-16. Hours before the floor vote the Judiciary Committee approved eight more judicial nominees and readied them for the floor. That means there will be 34 judicial nominees waiting for votes when the Senate returns in November for a lame-duck session.
This was a smart deal.. For more, click on the text above.