Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Donald Trump listen during a signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

In No Rush to Approve Covid-19 Aid, McConnell Says He Will Start Confirming More Trump Judges 'As Soon As' Senate Returns

"This is all they care about: stacking courts with ideologically extreme judges to roll back our rights for decades."

Jake Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear in an interview Wednesday that the top priority for the Republican-controlled upper chamber upon its expected return early next month will not be approving desperately needed coronavirus aid for the unemployed, the uninsured, and frontline workers.

Rather, McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the Senate will resume its rapid-fire confirmations of President Donald Trump's lifetime right-wing judicial nominees "as soon as we get back in session."

"The pandemic hasn't stopped Trump and McConnell from trying to take over our federal courts with extreme judges who are anti-healthcare and anti-civil rights. This is their priority."
—Vanita Gupta, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

"The current plan is to go back in session on May the 4th," said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. "I haven't seen anything that would discourage me from doing that. And as soon as we get back in session, we'll start confirming judges again. We need to have hearings, and we need to confirm judges. Hugh, you and I have discussed this before. My motto for the year is leave no vacancy behind. That hasn't changed."

"The pandemic," McConnell added, "will not prevent us from achieving that goal."

McConnell's remarks came just hours after the Senate Majority Leader threw cold water on the prospect of fast movement on a fourth coronavirus aid package that—unlike the interim measure the Senate passed Tuesday—includes relief for the millions of people struggling to meet basic needs amid the coronavirus-induced economic fallout.

"The best way to get the economy back and running is to begin to open it up again, rather than passing immediately another bill where we have to borrow," McConnell told Politico.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, Trump in recent weeks has nominated two more ultra-conservative judges: U.S. District Judge Justin Walker to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Cory Wilson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

"This is all they care about: stacking courts with ideologically extreme judges to roll back our rights for decades," Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, tweeted in response to McConnell's comments Wednesday. "We can't stand for it."

Civil rights groups decried Trump's nomination of Walker and Wilson as another step toward packing the federal courts with "right-wing ideologues" hostile to reproductive rights, workers, and the environment.

Trump, with the help of McConnell and the right-wing Federalist Society, has now hand-picked around one in every five U.S. federal judges. Because Trump's selections have been disproportionately young, they will have the power to reshape American law for decades to come.

"Please pay attention," Gupta said earlier this month. "The pandemic hasn't stopped Trump and McConnell from trying to take over our federal courts with extreme judges who are anti-healthcare and anti-civil rights. This is their priority."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Make a Gesture of Humanity': Pope Francis Urges Pharma Giants to Release Covid-19 Vaccine Patents

"There are countries where only three or four percent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·


US to Offer 'Condolence Payments' to Relatives of 10 Civilians Killed in Drone Strike

The Pentagon statement follows a call for President Joe Biden to "show real concern for civilians by taking more meaningful steps to prevent civilian casualties as a result of all U.S. lethal operations."

Andrea Germanos ·


New Filing Reveals Sinema Pads Campaign Coffers With More Pharma and Finance Funds

"This is what someone who's bought and paid for looks like."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo