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Amid tension, Trump and McConnell together on judges

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not be on the best of terms after a failure to pass a healthcare overhaul this summer and ahead of expected fiscal fights this fall. But they have at least one shared mission: confirming a bevy of federal judges.

Their effort, along with today’s relaxed filibuster rules, could give conservatives an opportunity to reshape the federal bench even more than in the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan set a modern standard for maximizing a potential judicial legacy.
McConnell’s emerging role reprises his moves last year guaranteeing that the vacancy caused by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was saved for Trump and resulted in recent appointee Neil Gorsuch, a former Colorado-based US Appeals Court Judge. McConnell blocked action in 2016 on President Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland, chief judge of the US Appeals Court in Washington, DC.