- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he hopes to have a total of 12 judges confirmed by the end of the year.

“The principal way we’re changing America is through the court system. Not only [Justice] Neil Gorsuch, I saved that seat for the next president, and it turned out to be Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton. We also have a record number of vacancies in federal and district courts going back to the 1950s,” Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“We’re rapidly filling them. Let me tell you the definition of rapidly. We’ve already done nine circuit judges this year. Barack Obama did three in his first year, and he had 60 Democratic senators,” the senator explained.

Mr. McConnell added that he hopes to have another three judges confirmed before the end of the year bringing the total to 12.

He also said the confirmation process for non-Cabinet members may be changing due to the slow nature of getting nominees through the Senate.

“There are bipartisan discussions going on about that, because it is kind of silly. What you’re talking about is after you’ve already made a decision to confirm someone, just how much more time do you need to talk about it?” he said, adding some Democrats have voiced support for limiting the debate hours for lower-level nominees.

Mr. McConnell did say that on the legislative side, he believes the tax plan will pass by the end of the year as Republicans planned.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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