According to Demand Justice, a progressive advocacy group that focuses on the federal judiciary, a majority of Senate Democrats have voted for at least 60 percent of Trump judicial appointments in 2017 and 2018.
The report card graded Democrats using several metrics, including votes to confirm Trump’s nominees and votes to advance judges by ending debate on each nomination by invoking cloture. Senators were also penalized if they returned a “blue slip”—a show of support or
approval—for Trump nominated judges in their home states.
Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto received a B grade.
Cortez Masto voted to advance 5 of Trump’s 31 circuit nominees. The Nevada senator also voted yes 63 percent of the time to advance Trump’s district court nominees with roll-call votes. Overall, Cortez Masto voted yes 56 percent of the time to advance Trump’s judicial confirmations.
“This report card documents Senate Democrats’ response to the far-right capture of our courts during Trump’s first two years in office,” reads the group’s report. “Senators receive a letter grade that reflects their willingness to fight Trump’s judges. Democrats who don’t fight hard enough were graded accordingly.”
According to a recent study by Demand Justice, Trump’s confirmed judges are on average 20 percent more ideologically extreme than former Republican president George W. Bush’s judicial nominations.
Based on their repeated votes to advance and confirm Trump’s nominees, Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Tom Carper (Del.), Mark Warner (Va.), and Michael Bennet (Colo.) all received F grades from Demand Justice.
With the exception of Klobuchar and Bennet, most senators who are running or considering a run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination received positive ratings:
- Elizabeth Warren: A
- Cory Booker: A-
- Bernie Sanders: A-
- Kirsten Gillibrand: B+
- Kamala Harris: B+
- Michael Bennet: D
- Amy Klobuchar: F