Senate Republicans broke a record on Wednesday for the number of appeals court judges confirmed during a president's first two years. 

Senators voted 50-49 on Andrew Oldham's nomination to be a judge on the 5th Circuit, making him Trump's 23rd circuit court judge confirmed since he took office last year. 
 
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That breaks the previous record set by President George H.W. Bush, who got 22 appeals court judges confirmed during his administration's first two years. 
 
 
Republicans have rushed to confirm Trump's nominees for the key bench, letting the party shape the direction of the U.S. court system for decades. 

"I think of the things that we've been able to do with this Republican government the last year and a half, the single most long-lasting, positive impact we'll be able to have on the country is the judiciary," McConnell told reporters in Kentucky late last week.

Democrats and allied outside groups have blasted Republicans' steady pace of confirming Trump's circuit court nominees. 

"Given his lack of judicial experience and blatantly political record, litigants who come before Mr. Oldham in court will understandably question whether they are getting an impartial judge," Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Progressives fume as Dems meet with Brett Kavanaugh GOP lawmaker calls on FBI to provide more info on former Feinstein staffer MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement. 

She added that Oldham's record "could not be more extreme and overtly political." 
 
Jake Faleschini, the director of the Federal Courts Program at the Center for American Progress, added that "Oldham is yet another young right-wing firebrand who has spent his career pushing a damaging, partisan agenda."
 
But Democrats are essentially powerless to stop Trump's judicial picks unless they can win GOP support.
 
In 2013, Senate Democrats, led by then-Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP’s midterm strategy takes shape Battle of the billionaires drives Nevada contest Senate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh MORE (D-Nev.), nixed the 60-vote filibuster for district and circuit court nominations. Republicans, in turn, nixed the same hurdle for Supreme Court nominations last year. 
 
In addition to Oldham, Senate Republicans are poised to confirm Ryan Bounds to serve on the 9th Circuit on Thursday, giving Trump his 24th appeals judge. 
 
By comparison, the Senate had confirmed 16 circuit court nominees for Obama by the end of his second year in office, with the final tranche of picks not being confirmed until December of 2010, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
 
President George W. Bush got 17 circuit judges confirmed by the end of 2002, his second year in office, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Clinton had 19 confirmed during his first two years in office, according to CRS. And Presidents Reagan and Carter got 19 and 12 nominees confirmed, respectively
 
Republicans previously broke the record last year for number of appeals judges confirmed during a president's first year. But they haven't moved as quickly on lower-level district judges, whose rulings can be overturned by circuit court judges. 
 
Washington Post analysis found that, when combined with votes on lower-level district judges, Trump was lagging behind other recent administration, except Obama, in total number of judges confirmed as of the end of May.