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Two obstacles for Trump’s judicial nominees to overcome

President Trump entered office with an unprecedented number of judicial vacancies to fill. It was a huge opportunity to make an immediate impact on the federal judiciary, and Trump’s team quickly set to work identifying, vetting, and nominating stellar nominees.

It paid off. More appeals court judges were confirmed in Trump’s first year in office than any other first-year president in history. With 12 appeals court judges, six district court judges, and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed in 2017, Trump’s record on judges was off to a great start.

But 2018 has been slow moving. Despite the administration continuing to send nominations to the Senate, only a handful of judges have been confirmed. Though there are 11 appeals court nominees pending, the Senate has confirmed just one this year.