Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has harmed the administration of the 2020 election by continuing to break the democratic norms on judicial nominations. McConnell boasts proudly of filling every federal appellate judicial vacancy in the country. McConnell and Trump refused to consider numerous Obama nominees.
McConnell and Trump have confirmed several federal judges that McConnell brazenly left open during the Obama presidency. Using the Federal Judicial Center data, Pew analysis found that Trump has appointed more federal appeals judges, 53, than any president since Jimmy Carter as of July 7. Three US Supreme Court justices have also been appointed by Trump.
Restrictive rulings have been issued by a significant number of those judges. The rulings have impacted how some states run the election, harming voters in the process. In at least 18 cases this year, federal trial courts ruled in favor of plaintiffs and put on hold various election rules, often due to the challenges of voting during the pandemic, only to see federal appeals courts reverse those pro-voter rulings.
The less shocking aspect is that twelve of those decisions included at least one Trump-appointed judge. Seven of those 12 cases were 2-1 decisions with a Trump appointee in the majority; an eighth case was a 6-4 decision by the entire Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, with five Trump-appointed judges in the majority.
In those cases, lower courts had issued pro-voter opinions, giving merit to the cases. However, the appeals courts reversed. The Trump appointees often casting one of the deciding votes. The federal appeals court didn’t protect the right to vote, instead refused to invalidate laws that force voters to jump through numerous hoops to cast their ballots.