President Donald Trump recently made his 100th nomination to
either a lower court vacancy or an open US attorney post,
blowing past the rate of nominations at which recent presidents
have advanced, as he seeks to cement
a substantial legacy.
Following a wave of judicial nominations on Thursday, Trump
has now submitted 105 individuals to vacancies on appeals courts,
district courts, and US attorney positions.
President Barack Obama, at the same point of his first term in
2009, had nominated a fraction of the
Trump crossed the mark right as the Senate is battling over what
to do with the “blue slip” practice, which has come under fire from
some Republicans recently.
The blue slip is a tradition in which US senators can give or
withhold their blessing for a judicial nominee from their state.
The process gives the party that does not control the White House
leverage over the president’s nominations, and some Democrats
have used that power to deny a pair of Trump’s nominees from
moving forward in the Senate Judiciary Committee. That, in turn,
makes it easier for Trump to advance nominees in states that do
not have any Democratic Senate representation.
With Democrats now having the ability to — in many states —
prevent Trump’s judicial nominees from advancing, Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell told The
New York Times recently that he thought the
blue-slip practice should be scrapped for circuit-court
nominations. That sparked backlash from Democrats, who said
the move would be hypocritical, as Republicans staunchly defended
the blue slip process while Obama was in office.
While only a small portion of Trump’s nominations have been
confirmed so far, the confirmation rate has begun to pick up as
the nominees have started to receive committee hearings. And
with a massive number of vacancies on the federal bench, Trump
has a real opportunity to cement a decades-long legacy on the
Here are Trump’s nominations by the numbers:
- Roughly 82% of his 105 nominations to lower
courts and US attorney slots are from states Trump carried
- Fifteen of Trump’s 18 picks for circuit courts — the
second highest in the country — are from states he won in 2016.
- Half of his circuit court picks are from states without a
- Only about 14% of Trump’s nominees are women.
- Trump has made 22 nominations to appeals courts, 38 to
district courts, 40 to US attorney slots, two to the US
Tax Court, and three to the US Court of Federal Claims.
- There are currently more than 140 judicial vacancies on the
- Thirty-five of the 40 US attorney slots Trump has
nominated for are in states he won last fall, as are 33 of
the 38 district court judges he has nominated.
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