Senate OK of Trump judicial picks buoy GOP, Dems dismayed

In this Dec. 5, 2017, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The pace of confirmations for President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees has quickly become a source of pride for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans while Democrats are ruing the day they changed the rules to make it easier to fast-track court picks. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pace of confirmations for President Donald Trump's judicial nominees has quickly become a source of pride for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans while Democrats are ruing the day they changed the rules to make it easier to fast-track court picks.

Nine confirmations in little more than a month have lifted the total number of judges confirmed during the Trump presidency to 16.

Along with the major prize — Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch — Trump can say he got more appellate court justices confirmed at this date in his presidency than any predecessor since Republican Richard Nixon.

It's a far cry from a few months ago when the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative advocacy group, was preparing an ad campaign pushing McConnell to get more confirmations.

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