Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks back to his office after speaking on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
There are two things Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made crystal clear since the Democrats’ launched their latest round of Impeachmentpalooza:
1) The left can forget about having any luck once the Senate’s role in the impeachment inquiry process begins.
2) The record-setting pace he’s kept on confirming Trump’s judicial nominations will continue.
Perhaps the most shining example of his promise on judicial confirmations came just this week, when McConnell continued transforming the 9th Circuit, which conservatives and Republicans for years have called the “9th Circus” because of the number of liberal judges appointed to it by Democrats.
Jeff Reynolds at PJ Media details McConnell’s transformation:
During the Trump administration, however, the 9th Circuit has undergone a massive overhaul. The 9th Circuit includes 13 district courts, presided over by a total of 112 judges. The Circuit Court of Appeals, in turn, has 29 justices, meaning that 15 constitute a majority. As of November, President Trump had appointed eight new justices to vacancies on the Circuit Court.
The latest change came on Wednesday, when the U.S. Senate confirmed Deputy Assistant Attorney General Lawrence VanDyke of Montana. He previously served as assistant solicitor general for Texas, and solicitor general for both Montana and Nevada.
At present, the 9th Circuit has 13 of 29 total justices nominated by Republican presidents. Just a whisker away from a majority.
This overhaul will also have the effect of dampening, to some extent, the dominance of California over the rest of the states covered by the 9th Circuit. California accounts for approximately 60 percent of the total population of the 9th Circuit, and can easily dominate the nominations.
There’s still a ways to go for a total transformation, but this is definitely a good start. That it was happening as the articles of impeachment were debated just makes it all the more notable and awesome.
Democratic Congressman Jim Himes (CT) said in an interview last week that he and other Democrats were seriously frustrated with McConnell because all their legislation was being log-jammed once it reached the Senate.
“The reason that they are not going anywhere has nothing to do with distracted Democrats because every week we pass bills. It has to do with the fact that Mitch McConnell has converted the United States Senate into a machine to approve judges,” he stated.
You can read more about the 9th circuit here.