Liberals are furious with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for cutting a deal on expediting President Donald Trump’s federal court nominees.
Several of Trump’s 20 nominees – 15 judicial nominees and five executive branch appointments – were confirmed after Senate Democrats agreed to expedite the voting process so they could skip town.
With Senate rules requiring sometimes up to 30 hours of wait time for each nominee, Schumer cut a deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get the nominees through more quickly so Democrats could get home and campaign for November elections. A normal month-long Senate recess in August was cancelled by McConnell this year in order to vote on nominees and other bills.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, added that the in addition to judges, dozens of ‘executive branch nominees’ including U.S. Marshalls were also confirmed… with more on the way:
Cancelling August recess resulted in the most productive Senate work period in recent memory. Today alone we confirmed seven more judges & 27 executive branch nominees (including a U.S. Attorney & 2 U.S. Marshalls from #Florida). Next week we will confirm another 8 judges.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 29, 2018
Days before confirmation hearings kick off for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the move has angered liberals who are still unhappy that Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch to the high court and has gotten 26 circuit court judges confirmed, which is more than any other president at this point in his term, according to Huffington Post.
“Trading this many lifetime positions away for a couple days back home in the dead of August is a metaphor for how myopic the Democrats’ approach has been at this dark moment in history,” Brian Fallon, the executive director of progressive judicial advocacy group, Demand Justice, said.
“An entire branch of government is being lost for generations and Senate Democrats are willfully blind to it. In the coming months and years, these same Democrats will issue outraged statements about the rulings issued by the very judges that they could not be bothered to try to slow down. It is pathetic,” he added.
I love that they were apparently more committed to time off than fighting to remake the courts.https://t.co/JurAJfh0Iz
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) August 29, 2018
“A week before hearings begin, dozens of Senate Democrats have yet to publicly oppose Kavanaugh. Not only has Schumer lagged in unifying his caucus in opposition, he’s cutting deals with Mitch McConnell to fast-track Trump’s judicial appointees, helping Trump shape a right-wing judiciary for a generation,” MoveOn.org executive director Anna Galland said, according to The Hill.
“We don’t need Democrats cutting deals to help Trump and the Republican agenda. We need them—and Schumer—fighting with the rest of us to protect our rights, our democracy and our lives,” she said.
A top aide to former Sen. Harry Reid sees the problem as one that “comes down to leadership.” Reid, the former Democratic senator from Nevada, preceded Schumer as minority leader before he retired in 2017.
This comes down to leadership. Senate Dem leaders could take a stand and station one senator on the floor at all times to object, forcing McConnell to jump through interminable hurdles & produce 51 votes – twice – for each nominee, likely resulting in fewer lifetime Trump judges. https://t.co/iX9LcQrp1F
— Adam Jentleson ? (@AJentleson) August 29, 2018
The Senate is now out of session until next Tuesday though some lawmakers will return to Washington to honor the late Sen. John McCain, who will be lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday.
Liberal advocacy groups, like Indivisible Project, criticized Schumer’s deal-making to fast-track Trump nominees, arguing that Democrats “got absolutely nothing out of it.” But one senior Democratic aide pointed out that Republicans likely had the votes they needed to confirm all the nominees anyway.
“[The] question was were they going to get confirmed while Dems were in DC or while Dems were back in their home states trying to take back the majority before folks come back for McCain services,” the aide said, according to The Hill.