Aides think judicial appointments galvanize the base, demonstrate the president’s ability to deliver on a campaign promise and will help win over crucial 2020 states.
The White House is rushing to appoint as many judges as possible before 2020 to give President Donald Trump yet another talking point he can rally on as he stumps for re-election.
Trump’s team believes that stacking the judicial system with conservative judges galvanizes the base, demonstrates his ability to follow through on a 2016 campaign promise and will help win over crucial 2020 states like Colorado, Florida and North Carolina.
And Trump himself is convinced that judicial appointments are central to both his legacy and policy agenda, as he has pushed for young judges who can serve for decades, according to former administration aides, close White House advisers and those familiar with the administration’s judicial plans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has done everything he can to help quicken the pace, changing procedural rules to limit debate time and lower the voting threshold Supreme Court justices must clear to get approved. In just the last six weeks, the Senate will have confirmed 15 judges, aided by a recent debate-limiting tweak.