[Ed. – Sound advice, which the GOP would do well to follow.]
Republican losses in the House have eliminated the possibility of advancing major legislation in 2019, but the party’s gains in the Senate have provided a rare opportunity to shape the judiciary with a wave of judges who believe in closely adhering to the U.S. Constitution. Republicans should not squander it.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has already had a lot of success on getting judges confirmed, ensuring it will be the most enduring part of his legacy. Following the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016, he kept a Supreme Court seat open until President Trump could fill it with Justice Neil Gorsuch. During the first two years of the Trump presidency, McConnell has taken good advantage of predecessor Harry Reid’s triggering of the “nuclear option” that eliminated the filibuster for judicial appointments and allowed confirmations with a simple majority.
Without the need for Democratic votes, in the first two years of the Trump presidency, the Senate has already confirmed 85 federal judges, and the pace has accelerated. In 2017, there were 19 judges confirmed, and in 2018, that number soared to 66. Republicans should try to crush that number in 2019.