Judicial Update

April 13, 2018
Senate Slow Walks Trump’s Nominees

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Many thought that President Trump’s promise to nominate Conservative judges was one of the most important factors in his campaign. He came through on his promise, and we expect to reap the benefits of Justice Gorsuch’s good rulings for years to come.The President did not stop with Justice Gorsuch though. As of today, the Senate has confirmed 28 additional judicial nominees. This number includes four new female circuit court judges. We can celebrate the progress of these confirmations, however this seems like a low number for over a year’s time.

Even though the President regularly releases nominees for various judicial positions, the Senate has struggled to confirm them in a timely manner. Democrats have refused to shorten the required 30 hours of debate for each nominee. They have also forced 79 cloture votes on both judicial and executive branch nominees which is about five times the amount of the previous four administrations combined. Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced this week that he will make some necessary changes. He threatened to keep the Senate in session continuously until this week’s six nominees are confirmed. Many Senators have used their days off and weekends to campaign for re-election, so they realize the negative impact this could have in November if they drag their feet on confirmations.

Republicans are also looking at alternative measures to change the rules in the Senate to speed this process along. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) proposed earlier this year that the Senate should reinstate a rule from 2013 to reduce the 30 hours of debate to two hours. Even President Trump has begun to put pressure on the Senate to change the rules. Leader McConnell has not yet said what the Senate is planning, but he has promised to announce those changes soon.

Eagle Forum urges the Senate to continue confirming President Trump’s nominees and institute new measures to overcome the obstruction of the Democrats. We will watch this issue closely and keep you updated while the Senate begins to make changes.