Senate Republicans this week confirmed President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE's 100th judicial nominee.
The milestone marks the latest victory for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellManchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks Biden needs to be both Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside Billionaire tax gains momentum MORE (R-Ky.), who views the courts as the party's best shot at having a long-term impact on the direction of the country and who has made confirming Trump's picks a top priority.
"After studying and considering these nominees the Senate will keep on filing judicial vacancies. We'll keep confirming the president's team," McConnell said taking a victory lap ahead of the Senate's action.
The Senate on Thursday confirmed Rodolfo Armando Ruiz II to be a judge for the Southern District of Florida, marking Trump's 100th judicial pick.
Lawmakers quickly followed with back-to-back votes on Raúl Arias-Marxuach to be judge for the district of Puerto Rico and Joshua Wolson to be a judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania — giving Trump his 101st and 102nd judicial confirmations.
GOP senators celebrated the milestone on Twitter. Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill Another voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter MORE (R-Iowa), the previous chairman and a current member of the Judiciary Committee, said Trump's nominees will read the Constitution "as written instead of what suits their political goals."
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThune endorses Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race Pennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral MORE (R-S.C.), the current chairman, added that it was a "great milestone for the Trump administration."
The slate of nomination votes comes after Republicans deployed the "nuclear option" last month to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to confirm most of the president's nominees.
Under the rules change, district court nominations and most executive nominees only require two hours of debate after defeating a filibuster and showing they have the votes to be confirmed. They previously required 30 hours of debate.
In addition to district judges, Trump's more than 100 confirmations include two Supreme Court picks, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughLocked and Loaded: Supreme Court is ready for a showdown on the Second Amendment Why Latinos need Supreme Court reform Feehery: A Republican Congress is needed to fight left's slide to autocracy MORE, as well as 37 circuit court judges.
Republicans have set records for their pace of confirming Trump's nominees to the influential appeals courts. McConnell has teed up two more circuit picks for next week: Joseph Bianco and Michael Park to be judges on the 2nd Circuit.
Democrats have fumed over conservatives' rush to confirm Trump's picks, accusing them of bending the rules in order to get nominees on the courts.
In addition to going "nuclear" to reduce debate time, Republicans used the nuclear option in 2017 to nix the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court nominations after Democrats got rid of a similar hurdle for executive and lower court nominees in 2013.
Democrats have also protested Republicans moving nominations over the objections of home-state senators. Neither Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPricing methane and carbon emissions will help US meet the climate moment Democratic senator: Methane fee could be 'in jeopardy' Manchin jokes on party affiliation: 'I don't know where in the hell I belong' MORE (D-N.Y.) nor Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandPaid family leave proposal at risk Which proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? Proposals to reform supports for parents face chopping block MORE (D-N.Y.) returned a blue slip on the two circuit picks up for a vote next week.
Demand Justice, a progressive outside group, accused Trump and McConnell of "packing the courts" and noted that by this point in his administration, former President Obama had gotten 81 judicial confirmations.
"Trump and Mitch McConnell are packing our courts with extreme judges at a disturbing and unprecedented rate with little standing in their way," the group said.
As Trump packs our courts with these extreme, white men who will inflict damage on our country long after he has left the White House, Democrats must respond by 1) opposing all of these nominees and 2) pledging to restore our courts' balance and legitimacy. (5/5)— Demand Justice (@WeDemandJustice) May 2, 2019