Controversial confirmation makes 160 judges appointed by Trump
WASHINGTON, Nov 15, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Another controversial Senate
confirmation Thursday brought the number of conservative judges appointed by
President Donald Trump to 160 — a number he is likely to tout as part of his
White House lawyer Steven Menashi, 40, was confirmed to the powerful 2nd US
Circuit Court of Appeals in New York by a 51 to 41 vote.
Several Democratic lawmakers and one Republican opposed his nomination,
saying he lacked experience and had expressed questionable beliefs in several
Menashi has been especially criticized for accusing gay rights activists of
exploiting the murder of Matthew Shepard — who was killed in a homophobic
attack in Wyoming in 1998 — and for defending the concept of ethno-
nationalism, a view often embraced by the far right.
“Menashi boasts a horrific record on race, women’s equality, LGBTQ rights,
immigrant rights,” New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said on Twitter.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed Menashi before
“I urge all my colleagues in voting to confirm this impressive nominee this
afternoon,” he said.
Presidents nominate Supreme Court and other federal judges to lifetime
terms, as spelled out in the constitution. The Senate then votes to confirm
or reject the nominees.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump appealed to conservative voters by
promising he would nominate judges in line with their values — and they are
grateful that he has delivered.
Thanks to a Republican-led Senate, 160 Trump-nominated judges — out of 860
spots on the bench — have been confirmed since the president took office,
according to the Federal Judicial Center, including two Supreme Court
“And we should have, within the next short period of time — like two
months — we should have about 182 federal judges,” Trump said recently,
referring to the 20-something candidates awaiting Senate confirmation.
“But in terms of, I’d like to say, quality and quantity, we are going to
be, I think, just about number one by the time we finish — number one of any
president, any administration,” he said.
The president often chooses his nominees from a list endorsed by the
conservative Federalist Society.
And they are often young, assuring Trump’s influence will be felt in the
courts even after his presidency is over.