Thanks to the leadership of Senator James Lankford and Leader Mitch McConnell, efficiency and order have been restored to the U.S. Senate. Their resolve to move past the Democrats’ partisan obstruction is now allowing the Senate to fill judicial vacancies in a timely manner and equip federal courts to be fully operational and serve the American people.
This is a result of rule changes led by Senator Lankford that are already having an effect.
Federal judicial nominees are now being confirmed at a more sensible pace than ever before in the Trump Administration. For the first time in the regular course of Senate business, four U.S. District Court judges were confirmed this week without the hassle of a deal with Democrats prefaced on "getting out of town."
These outstanding judges included: Judge Holly Brady of Indiana, Judge David Morales of Texas, Judge Daniel Domenico of Colorado, and Judge Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma.
In Senator Lankford’s words…
“Every president, no matter their party, deserves to pick their staff without unnecessary delays. The process now allows committees to do a full background check, public hearing, staff questions, questions for the record and a committee vote.
If additional time is requested after the committee vote, up to 26 hours of additional time is also allotted on the Senate floor for debate (a full day, plus two hours). I have worked on this proposal for two years to help the Senate be more efficient and to treat each candidate equally and fairly. It allows the Senate to fulfill its unique duty of legislation and personnel and get back to debating issues, engaging new ideas, and solving problems.”
Prior to this rule change, there were nearly 130 cloture votes on nominations in President Trump’s first two years. This is more than five times as many as in the same period of every administration since Jimmy Carter, combined. Democrats’ delay and obstruct tactics on nominees have been curtailed.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell further emphasized the importance of reducing the amount of post-cloture debate time…
“Nominees are moving at a more reasonable pace. Important jobs finally being filled. I feel certain we have not seen the last of our Democratic colleagues’ addiction to endlessly re-litigating the 2016 elections instead of moving forward. But the Senate has begun to move past this particularly shameful chapter.
We’ve turned the page on the kind of systematic obstruction and purely partisan delays that were completely foreign to this chamber a few years ago but have since become our daily routine. So now, more progress can take place. And we’ll keep working to clear the backlog of talented individuals who are still waiting patiently.”
While Democrats continue to play partisan politics, we can be grateful to our Senate Republican Leadership for putting the American people first and working tirelessly to ensure that highly-qualified judges are filling benches across the country.