McConnell Pushes Federal Judge Confirmations: ‘We’re Going to Run Through the Tape’

November 25, 2020 Updated: November 25, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is moving steadfastly to confirm as many judges as possible to federal courts before the end of the year.

Following the confirmation of Supreme Court Judge Amy Comey Barret, since the election on Nov. 3, the Senate has confirmed 6 federal district court judges.

Before Election Day, McConnell had expressed willingness to push the confirmation of federal court judges. He told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Oct. 30 that they are going to push the confirmations until the end of the year.

“Well, we’re going to run through the tape. We go through the end of the year, and so does the President. We’re going to fill the 7th Circuit. And I’m hoping we have time to fill the 1st Circuit as well,” McConnell said. “And we are, by the way, confirming a district judge as soon as we get back after the election, and we’re going to clean the plate, clean all the district judges off as well.”

The Senate has confirmed Benjamin Beaton, Toby Crouse, Kristi Johnson, Kathryn Mizelle, Stephen Vaden, and Aileen Cannon as federal district judges.

McConnell is planning to confirm 2 appellate court judges to fill the vacancy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which was left open by Judge Barrett ascending to the Supreme Court, and the vacancy of deceased Judge Juan R. Torruella on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.

President Donald Trump has nominated Thomas L. Kirsch II for the 7th circuit and federal judge Raúl M. Arias-Marxuach for the 1st circuit. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing last Wednesday for Kirsch.

With the cooperation of the Senate, as of Oct. 1, Trump had appointed 218 federal judges, including 3 Supreme Court justices, 53 Appellate Court judges, and 161 District Court judges.