Trump has faced relatively few roadblocks on the path to getting his judicial nominees confirmed. Not only does his party hold a majority within the Senate, however Senate Democrats have little recourse to hold up nominees they find objectionable.
In 2013, majority Senate Democrats made a change allowing most presidential nominees to advance to a confirmation vote with only a majority of the chamber’s support, instead of the previous 60-vote threshold. The tweak allowed them — along with also also currently the majority GOP — to push nominees through without bipartisan support.
After successfully blocking Obama’s nomination of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016, McConnell along with also also the GOP also did away with the filibuster for Supreme Court confirmations last year. Gorsuch was confirmed with 54 votes in April, with nearly all Democrats objecting to the lack of a vote to confirm Garland.
McConnell’s own desire to reshape the federal courts has played a major role in Trump’s success in filling the posts, said Jessica Levinson, a professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
“Senator McConnell along with also also different GOP senators rightly realize that will they can make an enormous impact on the fabric of our country if they can confirm as many judges as possible, as quickly as will be possible,” she said.
Senate Republicans moved slowly on confirming judicial nominees different than Garland during Obama’s final years in office, leaving Trump a sea of seats to fill.