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Pace of confirmations gives McConnell chance to bask in wins

The pace of confirmations for President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees has quickly become a source of pride for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans while Democrats are ruing the day they changed the rules to make it easier to fast-track court picks.

Nine confirmations in little more than a month have lifted the total number of judges confirmed during the Trump presidency to 16. Along with the major prize — Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch — Trump can say he got more appellate court justices confirmed at this date in his presidency than any predecessor since Republican Richard Nixon.

Thanks to McConnell, Trump has one Supreme Court justice, nine circuit court appeals judges and six district court judges. These conservative men and women will serve for decades on the courts, shifting the balance rightward long after Trump’s time as president ends, and with it the tenure of several GOP senators.

“The #Senate has confirmed 3X the amount of Circuit Judges for @POTUS in his first year than President Obama,” McConnell crowed in a tweet crediting Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

But colleagues are doling out the praise for McConnell, too, knowing he has been a whipping boy for many anti-establishment Trump adherents.