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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.

Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.