‘These judges are going to be ruling for decades to come.’
President Donald Trump has already appointed nearly 200 federal judges to lower courts, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to resume efforts to fill outstanding vacancies with conservative nominees.
The Kentucky Republican has not yet commented on Joe Biden’s election win, but as reported by Raw Story, McConnell has vowed to confirm U.S. circuit and district court nominees until the 116th Congress adjourns Jan. 3.
“We’re going to run through the tape. We go through the end of the year, and so does the president,” McConnell said Friday during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. “We’re going to fill the 7th Circuit. And I’m hoping we have time to fill the 1st Circuit as well.”
After Amy Coney Barrett was elevated to the Supreme Court last month, the seat on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opened up. The seat on the 1st Circuit was vacated after the death of Juan R. Torruella at age 87.
The Senate returns this week amid a divided country following Biden’s election victory. Monday kicked off the start the lame-duck session, with the Senate reportedly voting on Trump nominee James Ray Knepp II to be a judge for the Northern District of Ohio.
More than two dozen nominations for lifetime appointments remain pending.
“Let’s leave no vacancy behind,” McConnell has said.
“We’re going to clean the plate, clean all the district judges off as well,” he said on Hewitt’s radio show last week.
“McConnell confirmed the fewest judges since President Truman during Obama’s last two years in office,” said Christopher Kang, who vetted judicial nominees during Obama’s presidency, per NPR. “So the reason President Trump had 200 judgeships to fill in the first place is because McConnell obstructed.”
“Even if Donald Trump is gone from office in January, these judges are going to be ruling for decades to come,” Kang added.
McConnell was reelected to a seventh term in Kentucky on Election Day.
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