Arizona Senator Jeff Flake on Wednesday dropped his plan to obstruct President Trump’s judicial nominees after a symbolic Senate vote on tariffs.
In a narrowly divided Senate, Flake’s automatic no vote on appeals court nominees as a way to demand a vote on Trump’s tariff policies effectively stalled confirmations. While the Arizona senator picked circuit court nominees to use as leverage, he told the Arizona Republic he would not use that as a basis to hold up President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
“That [was] always the deal. Get a vote [on tariffs] and it’s dropped,” Flake told The Hill.
The nonbinding bill, passed 88-11, provides for the inclusion of language “providing a role for Congress” on tariffs put in place for national security reasons, according to The Hill.
The vote margin is enough to override a potential Trump veto and emphasizes Senate concern about the issue.
Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set on Thursday to approve the circuit court nominations of Britt Grant for the 11th Circuit, and David Porter for the 3rd Circuit — two judges whose confirmations had been stalled by Flake.
From his first day in office until mid-May 2018, President Trump had appointed a record 21 federal appeals court judges before the process got derailed. (RELATED: Trump Just Notched Another Four Judicial Confirmations)
Now, it looks like things could be back on track.