President Trump outpaces Obama with 19 federal court judges confirmed

December 18, 2017 in News by Ken


The Senate confirmed President Trump’s 19th federal judge Thursday, approving James Ho for a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and further bolstering the judicial army that conservatives wanted to build.

Mr. Ho, confirmed on a 53-43 vote, becomes the first Asian-American on that appeals court. Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota joined Republicans in voting for Mr. Ho.

He’s the third federal appeals court judge the Senate confirmed this week, and the 19th judge overall. That’s well ahead of the 14 that President Obama had won by the end of his first year, but behind the pace of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“If the tax bill does not pass, President Trump can claim the confirmation of judges as his most significant achievement in the first year,” said Carl Tobias, law professor at the University of Richmond.

Mr. Trump entered office facing more than 100 judicial vacancies, including one on the Supreme Court. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch was his first court victory, and he’s followed it up with a series of confirmations, the majority coming on the federal appeals courts, which are particularly crucial.