Senate Republicans are working to slow down President Joe Biden’s federal judicial appointments, the Washington Examiner reports.
One of former President Donald Trump’s greatest accomplishments during his time in office was the nomination of 54 appellate court judges and 174 district court judges that were confirmed by the Senate.
This effort was facilitated by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) decision to end the traditional “blue slip” rule. Under this rule, if a senator from where the judicial nominee would be placed didn’t support the nominee by returning a blue slip document, that nominee would not advance through the confirmation process.
The current Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Dick Durbin (D-IL) has continued that approach, and now Biden is on pace to surpass Trump’s 226 federal judicial appointments.
What’s been happening?
As of Dec. 10, Biden has managed to make 62 federal nominations and 28 confirmations of federal judicial nominees, according to Ballotpedia.
To put that into perspective, Biden is operating at a 46% confirmation rate. Trump, on the other hand, at a similar time in his presidency, was only operating at a 26% success rate.
The Washington Examiner quotes Russell Wheller, a governance studies expert with the Brookings Institution, as explaining how Biden has been able to accomplish this. According to Wheeler, Biden has been targeting “states with no Republican senators or courts with no senators at all.”
That is how Biden has been able to, at least thus far, avoid significant pushback from Senate Republicans.
The tide is turning
The key for Senate Republicans is to prevent Biden from getting confirmations where there are no senators or, at least, no Democratic senators.
More recently, the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have been amping up their pushback against Biden’s federal judicial nominees, attempting to slow the process down. According to the Examiner, they “have been digging into past rhetoric by Biden’s nominees and have attempted to paint his selections as too liberal and questioned whether the nominees’ past comments signal any bias worthy of disqualification.”
That particular tactic has slowed down some confirmations by requiring a floor vote. What Republicans are aiming to do is to slow down Biden’s federal judicial confirmations until the 2022 midterm elections when they stand a chance at regaining majority control of the upper chamber.
Hopefully, they can pull it off. If not, right now it is looking as though the federal judiciary is going to be packed with Biden nominees, which could be a total disaster for America in the coming years.