The U.S. Senate moved quickly after acquitting President Donald Trump of impeachment charges to line up votes on a series of his judicial nominations.
Minutes after the historic votes on Wednesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) filed motions to invoke cloture, or end debate, on five nominees, including Andrew Brasher to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
The Republican-led chamber will start with Brasher on Feb. 10 before moving on to four district court nominees.
The move from McConnell signals that judicial confirmations are still top-of-mind for Republicans, especially with election campaigns heating up. Trump and McConnell have worked to remake the judiciary with conservatives over the past three years, a point the president underscored in his State of the Union address.
Those efforts have resulted in the appointment of 183 judges to federal district and appeals courts and two justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. Trump already has appointed over a quarter of appeals court judges, and Brasher’s confirmation would bring his total to 51 judges at that level.
The four district nominees are for courts in both red states—Alaska and Missouri—and blue states—Illinois and New York. The Senate has been slow to confirm Trump nominees with two Democratic senators.
—With Nancy Ognanovich