The Trump administration reached a milestone on Wednesday when the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate voted to confirm a judicial nominee.
President Donald Trump nominated Cory Wilson to sit on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, and this week’s Senate vote marked his 200th successful confirmation thus far in his first term.
As Forbes reported, that number marks the most for any president in roughly four decades. The last administration to nominate more successfully confirmed judges in the first term was President Jimmy Carter.
“Lifetime appointments on the federal bench”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recognized the achievement in remarks on the Senate floor ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
“Once we confirm Judge Wilson today, this Senate will have confirmed 200 of President Trump’s nominees to lifetime appointments on the federal bench,” he said.
McConnell went on to note that the confirmation will mark the first time “in at least 40 years” that “there will not be a single circuit-court vacancy anywhere in the nation.”
Ronald Reagan was the most recent president to achieve the milestone and had the most overall nominees confirmed to the bench, as Forbes noted.
“A victory for the rule of law”
In McConnell’s comment on the topic, he addressed those critics on the other side of the aisle who have levied accusations that certain Trump nominees were unqualified and worked to derail their confirmations.
“As I’ve said many times, our work with the administration to renew our federal courts is not a partisan or political victory,” the Republican leader said. “It is a victory for the rule of law and for the Constitution itself. If judges applying the law and the Constitution as they’re written strikes any of our colleagues as a threat to their political agenda, then the problem, I would argue, is with their agenda.”
The 200 judges nominated so far in the Trump administration reportedly consist of two to the U.S. Supreme Court, two to the U.S. Court of International Trade, 53 to circuit courts of appeal, and 143 to federal district courts, according to Forbes.
Conservatives frequently cite the impact of these judicial appointments as a central reason to support Trump.
Even as the Trump campaign faces crises on multiple fronts ahead of November’s election, this is one issue around which Republicans can rally.