Senate confirms 13 Trump judges ahead of August break
© Aaron Schwartz

The Senate confirmed 13 of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE's judicial picks this week, helping clear the deck ahead of the five-week August recess. 

The nominees were split up throughout the week with four confirmation votes taking place on Tuesday and nine on Wednesday, three of which were by voice votes. 
 
"For too long fairly uncontroversial judicial nominees just like these have been held up and delayed by our Democratic colleagues even when the vacancy qualifies as a judicial emergency. Uncontroversial district judges used to be confirmed promptly in big groups by voice vote," Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.) said from the Senate floor ahead of the votes on Wednesday. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Republicans have placed a premium on confirming Trump's judicial picks, arguing that they are the best shot at having a long-term impact on the direction of the country. Republicans have confirmed more than 100 court picks for Trump since 2017, including two Supreme Court justices and a record number of appeals court judges. 
 
The confirmation of 13 nominees is down from the 19 judges Senate Republicans had planned to confirm before leaving Washington until September. The other judges are expected to get a vote once the Senate returns in September. 
 
In addition to judicial picks, the Senate also confirmed other nominations including Kelly Craft to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
 
Democrats came under intense fire from progressive activists last year when they agreed to speed up votes on Trump's judicial picks ahead of breaks in August and October. Democrats argued at the time that the nominees were going to get confirmed anyway and speeding up votes allowed vulnerable incumbents more time on the campaign trail. 

Kristine Lucius, executive vice president for policy and government affairs at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, urged Democrats to force each of the nominations to have roll call votes this week.  

“Senators must put an end to this blatant disrespect to our judicial system, traditions, and democracy. They must demand that each nomination receives a roll call vote, so the public knows where their senators stand," she said. 

Christopher Kang, the chief counsel for We Demand Justice, knocked Democrats for allowing a judicial nominee who wouldn't say if Brown v. Board of Education was correctly decided to be approved by a voice vote. 
 
"Yesterday, the Senate confirmed one of these lifetime judicial picks who wouldn't say #BrownvBoard was correctly decided 87-1. …Today, Democrats let another be confirmed by voice vote--not even bothering to insist on a roll-call vote. Where is the floor?," he tweeted