On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time after the Senate acquitted President Trump in his impeachment trail, immediately filing cloture on a number of judges as he continued his relentless march toward remaking America’s judiciary with a conservative bent. The judges included Andrew Lynn Brasher to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit, Joshua M. Kindred to be U.S. District Judge for the District of Alaska, Matthew Thomas Schelp to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, John Fitzgerald Kness to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, and Philip M. Halpern to be U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
In March 2019, Politico reported that McConnell was intent on moving as quickly as he could to get conservative judges confirmed:
The Senate is on track to confirm the 34th Circuit Court judge of Trump’s presidency in the next week and the GOP has three more ready for floor action; that would give Trump roughly 20 percent of the Circuit Court seats in the country after just two years in office. At this rate, McConnell and Trump could leave few, if any, vacancies there for a potential Democratic president in 2021.
Even more alarming for Democrats, the GOP is also preparing to pull the trigger on the “nuclear option” and change Senate rules once again with a simple majority to allow much quicker confirmation of lower court judges in the coming months. …
Trump currently has 128 District Court vacancies to fill, and each one can take multiple days under current rules if any senator demands a delay; if Republicans change the rules, Trump could conceivably fill most of those over the next 20 months.
Los Angeles Times: “Immigration judges are quitting or retiring early because of Trump – Dozens of judges are calling it quits”