There are 112 court vacancies.
The GOP kept another seat in the Senate as Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith easily defeated her Democrat challenger Michael Espy in the special election on Tuesday.
The victory gives the GOP a three-seat advantage in the Senate, which will help them easily confirm President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.
From The Washington Examiner:
With Democrats now in control of the House of Representatives, Trump won’t be able to pass any sort of major legislation, meaning that the Republican Senate will be primarily spending the next two years pushing through as many judicial nominations as possible.
The added cushion not only means that it will be easier for McConnell to get nominees confirmed, it also means that Trump and his team can have more leeway to nominate more conservative judges given that there is now less pressure to placate centrists.
Currently, there are 112 district court vacancies and 11 appellate vacancies on the federal bench. Going into this election, the Senate had confirmed 84 Trump judges.
If Trump fills all of the current vacancies, nearly one in four federal judges will have been appointed by Trump. This does not take into account any additional vacancies that could come up over the next two years. This could have a transformative effect on the judicial branch, and will likely figure heavily in the 2020 election as Trump will tout judges as a leading example of how he delivered for conservatives.
The GOP picked up seats in North Dakota, Florida, and Indiana. The Democrats won in Nevada and Arizona and held onto Montana.
Trump attended two rallies on Monday night in a last minute attempt to push Hyde-Smith over the finish line even though polls had her over Espy by double digits.
Controversy after controversy swallowed Hyde-Smith since Election Day, which I covered in a previous post, didn’t stop people from voting for her.
99% of the precincts have reported, giving Hyde-Smith 474,471 votes to Espy’s 405,486. She has a 53.9% lead.
From Fox News:
With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Hyde-Smith had 446,927 votes to Espy’s 374,880 — a commanding margin of 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent, according to state election officials. The race marks the final midterm contest of 2018.
“I want everybody to know, no matter who you voted for today, I’m gonna always represent every Mississippian,” Hyde-Smith said at her victory party late Monday night. “Being on that MAGA-wagon, the Make American Great Again bus, we have bonded, we have persevered, we have gotten through things, we were successful today.”
Hyde-Smith’s win gives Republicans more leeway to ensure the confirmation of Trump’s federal judicial and Cabinet nominees that require Senate approval and strengthens the party’s chances of holding the majority in 2020.
“She has my prayers as she goes to Washington to unite a very divided Mississippi,” Espy said in his concession speech.
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