The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved 44 of President Trump's judicial nominees, sending them to a full-Senate vote where they will likely be confirmed.
HuffPost reports that it's "a huge number at once," and the sudden influx has Democrats concerned that Trump's picks are rapidly making federal courts substantially more conservative. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) pointed out that more than 80 percent of Trump's nominees are members of the Federalist Society, a conservative organization that has proven instrumental in elevating conservative lawyers to top judicial positions. Less than 4 percent of all American lawyers are members of the organization, Hirono told the committee.
"Month after month, we have seen a parade of these so-called conservative activists nominated to the federal courts," Hirono said on Thursday. "They have been groomed by conservative political ideologues," and are often deeply conservative on social issues, she continued.
Trump's administration has quietly been pushing forward in nominating and confirming 30 circuit judges and 53 district judges, writes HuffPost, in addition to Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, who are both members of the Federalist Society. At this point, 1 in 6 seats on the U.S. circuit courts are now filled by judges nominated by Trump.
One pick, Neomi Rao, faced sharp criticism on Tuesday for her past writings that suggested "intoxicated women were partly responsible for date rape," and Hirono said on Thursday that she was concerned about many of Trump's nominees, saying "they want to see Roe v. Wade overturned or narrowed into oblivion, LGBT people permanently consigned to the margins of American life, and constitutional and civil rights encroached [based] on the religious preference of a vocal few." Read more at HuffPost.Summer Meza
Despite President Trump's focus on the matter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't think the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are ultimately consequential.
McConnell on Friday spoke at the Values Voter Summit, sounding very confident that allegations from Christine Blasey Ford are a mere hiccup in Kavanaugh's confirmation process, as his GOP colleague said. He reassured the audience that "in the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court," receiving a standing ovation.
"Don't get rattled by all of this," he said. "We're going to plow right through it, and do our job." Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh forcibly groped her when they were in high school, an accusation Kavanaugh strongly denies. McConnell called the allegations, and subsequent call for a delay in Kavanaugh's confirmation, obstructive "tactics" that Republicans would overcome. And if "plowing through" angered his Democratic colleagues, all the better.
Bloomberg reports that McConnell also riled up the crowd by reveling in the discontent. "Look how angry the left is," he said. "The angrier they get, the better we're doing." Watch the moment below, via C-SPAN. Summer Meza