Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Senate on Wednesday voted 52-48 to confirm Cory Wilson, a conservative state court judge in Mississippi, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit.

Why it matters: Under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the GOP-led chamber has confirmed 200 of President Trump's appointments to the federal judiciary.

  • Wilson is Trump's 53rd appointment to a federal appeals court. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the sole Republican "no" vote.
  • The landmark achieves a Republican goal of filling every appeals court opening by the end of the year.

The big picture: The federal courts carry significant weight in almost every area of policy, and have been a priority for Republicans during Trump's presidency. The milestone illustrates how President Trump has reshaped the federal judiciary with young, conservative judges during his first term.

What they're saying: “Following Number 200, when we depart this chamber today, there will not be a single circuit court vacancy anywhere in the nation for the first time in at least 40 years,” McConnell said on Wednesday, according to the New York Times. “It’s a victory for the rule of law and for the Constitution itself.”

Go deeper

Dec 7, 2019 - Health

The return of the ACA wars

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Affordable Care Act is no longer the center of the national political debate, for the first time in nearly a decade. But it could quickly come roaring back to the fore.

What we're watching: A federal appeals court is set to rule any day now on whether the ACA's individual mandate is unconstitutional (yes, that again) — and, if so, how much of the rest of the law would have to fall along with it.

Trump rails against Obama, FBI, Senate GOP after Supreme Court ruling

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump fired off a series of tweets on Thursday morning after the Supreme Court upheld a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney for his financial records — attacking the Obama administration, the Mueller investigation, the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee and others for allegedly undermining his presidency.

Why it matters: Trump has fought relentlessly to keep his financial records secret. The two Supreme Court justices that he appointed — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — sided against Trump, with Kavanaugh writing in a concurring opinion: "In our system of government, as this Court has often stated, no one is above the law. That principle applies, of course, to a President."

Judge asks full appeals court to review panel's dismissal of Flynn case

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

D.C. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Thursday petitioned for the full D.C. Court of Appeals to rehear a three-judge panel's decision to order the dismissal of the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Why it matters: The panel's 2-1 decision could be overturned by the full 11-judge appeals court if it decides to take up the en banc review.