Trump Touts Record-Setting Judicial Confirmation Pace At SOTU

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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At an exultant State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump touted his administration’s record-breaking pace of appointments to the federal bench.

In keeping with an early campaign pledge, Trump and his Republican allies have made judicial confirmations a high priority, setting a record for judgeship nominations in the modern era.

“Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country,” he said.

“We are totally defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty,” he added.

In his first year as president, the Senate confirmed Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee and 12 of his nominees to the federal appeals courts, significantly outpacing his immediate predecessors. Just hours before his address, the Senate confirmed Justice David Stras to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Stras is the second nominee confirmed to a circuit court in 2018.

His success has one plaudits from conservative court-watchers.

“President Trump promised to nominate highly qualified judges who will follow the law, and he has delivered on that promise. No president has done more in his first year,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network. “The administration’s ongoing success in this area is a testament to the hard work and unwavering leadership of President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.”

There are currently 146 vacancies on the federal bench, according to the U.S. Judicial Conference.

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