Trump, with the help of a decisive majority of McConnell and the Senate GOP, has significantly reshaped the judiciary during his first term, and the 200th milestone shows how long his legacy lasts, as federal judges serve life and appointments. Many of Trump’s choices have become new judges who can serve for many years.
“Judicial confirmations may be President Trump’s most important legacy,” said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Tobin. “They will shape the nation’s laws on abortion, LGBT rights, voting rights and many other issues long after Trump’s departure.”
The 200 confirmations will also be a permanent part of McConnell’s legacy. The Republican of Kentucky, who is ready to be re-elected this year, has played a key role in changing the Senate rules to speed up the process of confirming candidates, eliminating the 60-vote threshold for minority filters.
In a 52-48 vote on Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Wilson and filled the last available seat of the appellate court. Democrats have complained about Wilson’s views on voting rights and other issues, but have not been able to stop his confirmation, as a simple majority is required for approval.
McConnell took care of the achievement before the vote, saying: “Once we confirm Judge Wilson today, this Senate will have confirmed 200 of President Trump’s candidates for a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.”
“And after the number 200, when we leave this room today, there will be no vacancy on the pitch anywhere in the nation for the first time in at least 40 years,” McConnell said.