Some conservatives expressed dismay, and even a sense of betrayal, over the President’s recent press conference with Mitch McConnell, in which Trump praised the Senate Majority Leader for his loyalty and effectiveness.
What did Trump have in mind, McConnell’s many right-wing critics seemed to wonder? Very likely, he appreciated the Kentucky Senator’s stellar record on Judicial nominations. It’s not just that McConnell blocked Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, enabling the superb appointment of Neil Gorsuch. He also delayed scores of liberal lower court nominees, so that Trump took office with 107 key vacancies to fill – more than four of the last five presidents going back to Reagan.
Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal praised both McConnell and Trump for nearly 60 consistently conservative judicial appointments so far. “McConnell just happens to have a steely passion for remaking the judiciary,” she wrote, and deserves credit “for the extraordinary class of judicial nominees now coming through.”