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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

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said last week that he cannot support President Trump's re-election.

Why it matters: Hogan, a moderate governor in a blue state, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Judges rule for mail-in voting in Montana and Alabama

Two federal judges ruled on Wednesday in favor of plans in Montana and Alabama for mail-in and absentee voting in November's elections.

Driving the news: In Montana, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen, ruled in favor of the mail-in voting expansion plans of Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to safeguard against COVID-19. In response to claims by the Trump Campaign and the Republican National Committee of widespread voter fraud, he wrote, "The evidence suggests ... this allegation, specifically in Montana, is a fiction."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.