Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t tired of winning.
He just put through 15 judiciary conformations, after Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed to the SCOTUS.
And, as Chuck Grassley points out, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been very, very busy, indeed.
Glad to report that so far this Congress the Senate has confirmed 84 federal judges (2 SCOTUS+29 circuit+53 district judges) incl. 16 just this past wk & I expect we will confirm all remaining judges on floor + any more judges the judic cmte processes this yr b4 end of Congress
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) October 12, 2018
The Senate approved a package of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees Thursday, notching another 15 confirmations just days after Justice Brett Kavanaugh was installed on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The confirmations came as half a dozen Democratic lawmakers, particularly those in red states, were pressed to return home to defend their Senate seats for the final stretch before the November midterm elections.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seized on the opportunity and made Democrats an offer: let the Senate adjourn until after the election, provided Democrats don’t force the full 30 hours of debate allowed for each nominee.
Democratic leaders were left at an impasse: They could keep their caucus in the Capitol to oppose the nominees — effectively ceding the campaign trail to Republican challengers — or confirm Trump’s judges briskly and risk alienating their supporters.
Democrats elected the latter course, to the relief of vulnerable senators who said the nominees would have been confirmed before the election anyway.
“If we stayed here for two or three weeks, we’d probably have done the same thing,” Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana told Politico. “I think it’s good.”
Still, condemnation from progressive interest groups was swift.
“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 of Demand Justice, a liberal advocacy group. “This period will be long remembered not just for the historic number of judges Trump has been able to confirm, but also because of how passive Democrats were in response.”