By Robyn E. Blumner
“My motto for the rest of the year is leave no vacancy behind,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in late March.
The Kentucky Republican was talking about filling vacant federal judgeships, of course. McConnell reconvened the U.S. Senate in May—while Washington, D.C., was still under shelter-at-home orders and daily death tolls from COVID-19 were still shockingly high—so he could confirm more judges.
It’s all about the judges.
President Donald Trump has appointed nearly one of every four federal judges now sitting. As of this writing, he’s appointed 193, including two U.S. Supreme Court justices: Neil Gorsuch, who obtained the seat after McConnell blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, and Brett Kavanaugh. Trump attained this stunning number in such a short time through McConnell’s chicanery. There were already over 100 judicial vacancies to fill when Trump arrived, largely because McConnell obstructed Obama’s picks in 2015 and 2016.
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