Yes, under President Trump, the most federal judges have been confirmed in the first year of a presidency—ever. Yes, we have Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, but more work needs to be done. There are plenty of nominees in the pipeline, but we have a potential clog. And that clog’s name is Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Mr. 18 percent is threatening to hold Trump judicial nominees hostage over the president’s actions on tariffs. The GOP has a one-seat majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee. If Flake decided to take a bunker mentality on these nominations and dig in, we're stuck. This is why the chair of the committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), is not putting up any more nominees for a vote until Flake agrees to support these judges. Granted, Grassley also said the calendar is full, but it’s the principle of the matter (via The Hill):
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is reportedly considering using votes on President Trump’s appellate court nominees as a bargaining chip for demands on two separate issues.
CNN reported that Flake may block votes on the court nominations while he attempts to secure action on tariffs and travel restrictions to Cuba.
“We’re discussing it,” he told the network.
Flake is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Republicans hold a one-seat advantage over Democrats.
If Flake does not support the appellate nominees, it could compromise their nominations. Most judges are voted out of the committee along party lines.
However, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told CNN that he will not schedule votes on the judges until Flake has indicated he’ll support the nominees.
Grassley added that the Senate nominations calendar is full, and he does not feel pressured to vote on judges at this time.
Flake is an noted anti-Trump Republican, but he’s also leaving because he knew that he would a) face a primary challenge; and b) would most likely lose that challenge. He barely won his 2012 election. People say the GOP has become Trump’s party, whatever that means. It’s a party that has given the old conservative guard almost everything they want. Yes, there is some disagreement over the tariffs, but we’ve seen a booming economy, extensive tax reform, moving the ball on getting rid of job-killing regulations, gutting the core of Obamacare, and the military destruction of ISIS. Flake is the losing side of a war. Trump fully took the reins of the party as soon as tax reform was passed—and that was a good thing, folks. If this is how Jeff Flake wants to go out, well, then good riddance, sir.