In Law360 yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley noted the vital importance of judicial nominees who are committed to the rule of law:
Nominating federal judges is one of the president’s most important constitutional duties, because these life-tenured judges often serve for decades on the bench. The most lasting legacy a president leaves on the American legal landscape is the judges committed to the Constitution and the rule of law.
President Trump's excellent nominees have been confirmed due to his and Majority Leader McConnell's leadership:
The Senate also confirmed 12 judges to the courts of appeals in 2017, a record for the first year of any presidency and four times the number of appellate judges confirmed in the first year of President Obama’s presidency. These judges, all distinguished by stellar legal and academic credentials, enjoyed widespread support in the legal community. The courts of appeals are the courts of last resort for the vast majority of thousands of cases in our federal court system. It has been among my highest priorities, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, to confirm these extremely well-qualified nominees.
After noting that President Trump's nominees have included many "trailblazers" including the first Indian-American federal judge (when previously confirmed to the district court) Amul Thapar and four confirmed female appellate judges, Chairman Grassley described how this success in confirmation has been hard-won against the Democrats' stubborn obstruction:
It has been especially remarkable that we have been able to confirm so many judges in light of unprecedented obstruction from Senate Democrats. As of the end of February, the Democrats have required the Senate to hold cloture votes to end debate for 28 of Trump’s judicial nominees. They have required this time-consuming process even for nominees with widespread support who are ultimately confirmed by substantial majorities. In contrast, Senate Republicans forced a cloture vote for only one judicial nominee at the same point in President Obama’s presidency. Moreover, the Democrats are insisting on multiple hours of debate on each nominee even when only a fraction of that time is actually used for debate. This has resulted in a bottleneck of as many as 33 committee-approved judicial nominees awaiting votes by the full Senate at a given time.
This procedural block is not the only way Senate Democrats have attempted to thwart the confirmation of judicial nominees. Despite the fact that President Trump has nominated individuals with broad bipartisan support from their home states, only two of his circuit court nominees confirmed in 2017 received the support of more than 60 senators. The Democrats’ unprecedented lockstep opposition to nearly all of President Trump’s nominees demonstrates the hold that liberal special-interest groups have over the party.
Chairman Grassley also explained how, contrary to historical precedent, the Democrats are attempting to turn the blue slip courtesy, which encourages the White House to consult home-state senators on nominees, into a one-senator veto. Thank you, Chairman Grassley and Leader McConnell, for prioritizing these excellent judicial nominees and not allowing Democrats to use the judicial confirmation process as a way to resist President Trump.