My new National Review article on President Trump’s great start on judicial appointments in 2017 and on the very challenging path ahead is freely available online. A brief excerpt:
For all the justified celebration of Justice Gorsuch and these twelve new appellate judges, however, the overall picture on judicial confirmations is far from rosy. Seven vacancies on the courts of appeals have gone nearly a year without any nomination being made to fill them. The situation on district-court nominations is much worse (and has very little to do with the three recently withdrawn nominations that caused the Trump administration some embarrassment). Only six district judges were confirmed in 2017. Twenty-two nominations were left languishing on the Senate floor at the end of the year, including twelve that had been awaiting action since October. And dozens of district-court vacancies that existed on Inauguration Day still await nominees.
Two big obstacles — one at the front end of the nomination process, the other at the back end — have caused these impasses and threaten to continue to stymie judicial confirmations.