- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ready to get his chamber back to business as usual, lining up five judicial nominees for confirmation votes next week after senators return to Washington.

Before the Senate adjourned Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican prepared four district court picks and one federal appeals court nominee for votes, building upon what’s become one of his legacies — confirming conservative judges.

When the Senate convenes Monday afternoon back in Washington after a long weekend following its wrap up this week of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, senators will debate the nomination of Andrew Lynn Brasher for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

His confirmation vote is expected early in the week.

The district court picks Mr. McConnell also lined up for consideration are Joshua M. Kindred for the District of Alaska; Matthew Thomas Schelp for the Eastern District of Missouri; Joshua Fitzgerald Kness for the Northern District of Illinois; Philip M. Halpern for the Southern District of New York.



With the rules change implemented by Mr. McConnell’s majority for debate time on lower court judicial nominees, it’s likely all five picks will be confirmed by the end of next week.

In the first three years of his presidency, Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell have been able to confirm a historic number — 50 — of federal appeals court judges. They have also confirmed two Supreme Court judges and 133 federal district court judges.

There’s about 25 more district court nominees pending.

Mr. Trump recognized Mr. McConnell’s dedication to confirming conservative judges to the federal judiciary in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

“Working with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — thank you, Mitch — and his colleagues in the Senate, we have confirmed a record number of 187 new federal judges to uphold our Constitution as written,” the president said.

After sealing Mr. Trump’s acquittal in the Senate, Mr. McConnell told reporters there is still some hope for bipartisan work in the coming months ahead of the election, noting the two parties may be able to come together on infrastructure and land and water conservation issues.

“We have got a chance to do some more business,” the Kentucky Republican said.

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