With the help of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans, President Trump just broke a record for appeals court judge confirmations during the first half of a presidency.
Andrew Oldham’s narrow 50-49 vote confirmation on Wednesday to the 5th Circuit made him President Trump’s 23rd circuit court judge, breaking former President George H.W. Bush’s record of 22 such judges during his first two years in office.
To lend perspective on the accomplishment, former President Obama had only 16 appeals court confirmations and George W. Bush had 17 after their second year in office, The Hill reports.
“The Senate continues to confirm impressive nominees whom President Trump has asked to serve our country,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “[Oldham] comes highly recommended by colleagues and peers from across the spectrum.”
The record-breaking confirmation comes a week after Arizona Senator Jeff Flake agreed to stop obstructing Trump’s judicial nominees after a symbolic vote on tariff policy. (RELATED: Flake Stops Obstructing Trump Judicial Nominees, Paves Way For Crucial Circuit Court Confirmations)
Thanks to then-Majority Leader Harry Reid killing the filibuster for judicial nominees in 2013, Democrats have been powerless to stop President Trump’s judicial nominees, leaving the only potential for obstruction in the hands of Republicans like Flake who have shown a willingness to stand in opposition to Trump.
However his presidency turns out, Trump’s numerous appointments and confirmations to key courts will be regarded as a legacy that will last well beyond his time in office.
“I think of the things that we’ve been able to do with this Republican government the last year and a half, the single most long-lasting, positive impact we’ll be able to have on the country is the judiciary,” McConnell said last week.
Republicans are about to add a 24th appeals court judge in Ryan Bounds, who is set to be confirmed to the 9th Circuit Thursday.