Nov 8, 2018 - Politics

Trump's judicial agenda takes center stage with House flip

Even as the races in Florida and Arizona remain too close to call, the Republicans' performance in Tuesday's elections was enough to cement their Senate majority — all but ensuring Trump's record-breaking judicial appointments will continue uninterrupted for at least the next two years.

Data: Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; Note: Count includes only federal appellate and district courts; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: Advancing a judicial nomination in the Senate used to take 60 votes, but it now only requires a simple majority. Of the 84 Trump-nominated appellate and district judges confirmed by the Senate, 30 of them replaced judges nominated by a president of the opposing party. With Trump's legislative agenda likely to be stalled by a Democrat-controlled House, judicial appointments will become even more of a priority over the next two years.

What's next

Chief Justice Roberts says Americans may "take democracy for granted"

Chief Justice John Roberts in 2017. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts warned that Americans may "take democracy for granted" in his annual year-end message published Tuesday.

"[W]e have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside. In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital."

McConnell backs changing Senate rules over Pelosi impeachment delay

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signed onto a resolution by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) seeking to change the rules of the Senate to dismiss articles of impeachment if they are not transmitted within 25 days of their approval — in this case, Jan. 12.

Why it matters: The constitutionality of such a move, which 12 other co-sponsors have signed onto, is not clear. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated on Thursday that she is waiting to see what the Senate trial will look like before she names impeachment managers and transmits the articles.

House Democrats' drama on delivering Trump's impeachment articles

Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Some House Democrats are pushing to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate — a potentially powerful weapon that could delay President Trump's trial.

Why it matters: It's leverage to get Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to agree to provisions, such as witnesses, that Senate Democrats want and McConnell initially rejected.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019 - Politics