Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed to confirm federal judicial nominees in the coming days and weeks and blasted Democrats for their approach to the process.
“I have stated many times the Senate’s determination to confirm the president’s judicial nominees, regardless of the often-mindless partisan obstruction we’ve been seeing from across the aisle,” McConnell wrote in the National Review on Friday.
McConnell recently took action to set up votes on four more nominees for Circuit Courts. In the op-ed, the senator echoed President Trump’s previous complaints that Democrats are unfairly obstructing nominees to key federal positions.
As of Oct. 16, out of 602 “key” Trump nominees tracked by The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service, 142 had been confirmed and another 165 people had been nominated.
McConnell was critical of Democrats for holding up the process. He specifically called out those who see nominee Amy Barrett’s decision to speak openly about being Catholic as problematic, saying “they seem to have forgotten we do not have religious tests for office in this country.”
A vote on Barrett is expected Monday, McConnell said.
“Democratic obstruction will likely mean that we’ll have to take more of the Senate’s time to get the job done,” McConnell said. “But we will confirm these nominees. You can count on it.”
McConnell has recently battled with Senate Democrats over the use of “blue-slips” to block nominees, saying he doesn’t believe a Trump pick should be blocked just because a blue slip isn’t returned.
The “blue-slip” rule has traditionally allowed a home-state senator to stop a lower-court nominee by refusing to return a sheet of paper, known as the blue slip, to the Judiciary Committee.