A long list of prominent conservative leaders released a memo Wednesday calling on the U.S. Senate to confirm the rest of President Donald Trump’s nominees in quick order.
The group known as the Conservative Action Project, which is chaired by Alfred Regnery with former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese as its founding chairman, wrote, in part:
President Trump needs his executive appointees to ensure that agencies across the government are implementing his agenda, rather than seeking to subvert it. Quick confirmation of these nominees is essential to make sure the president is able to do his job.
The memo, which was signed by high-profile former lawmakers, academics, and activists, argues that while the Senate has made progress in confirming a considerable amount of judges, the remaining vacancies should be filled before the next Congress:
Senate Republican leadership has done yeoman’s work in confirming two Supreme Court justices and a host of appellate judges. However, 178 nominations are still pending in the Senate. Seventy-two of them are judges—over 50 of them at the district court level. …
[A]ctivist district judges have increasingly been playing a larger role in national legal debates with the issuance of national injunctions. Having conservative judges who hew to an originalist interpretation of their role will hopefully combat the frequency of a single district judge making policy for an entire nation.
The memo comes a week after the nationwide midterm elections where Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Republicans picked up at least one seat in the U.S. Senate to maintain control of the upper chamber.
Appointing and confirming nominees to the federal judiciary has been a top priority for Senate Republicans and Trump, who entered office with a high number of judicial vacancies to fill.
However, on Wednesday, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says “he would not vote for any more of President Trump’s judicial nominees until the Senate votes on a bill to prevent special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from being fired,” reported The Washington Post.
A new tool from The Heritage Foundation shows that in the two years Trump has been in office, he has appointed a total of 84 judges to the federal bench, compared to former President George W. Bush’s 80 appointments. Trump also nearly doubled the amount appointed by former President Barack Obama during the same time period.
The threshold for confirmation only requires a simple 51-vote majority, lowered from the previous 60-vote threshold needed prior to the rule change instituted by Democrats in 2013 when Republicans in the minority held up Obama’s judges, according to CBS News.
Signatories of the memo included Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action; Jessica Anderson, vice president of Heritage Action for America; Lisa Nelson, chief executive officer of the American Legislative Exchange Council; Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union; and Jenny Beth Martin, chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.