Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has supported more of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees than the other Democratic senators running for president as well as the majority of her Democratic Senate colleagues.
Although she was one of the most outspoken critics of Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch during their nomination processes, Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has voted “yes” on more than 56% of Trump’s judicial nominees who were eventually confirmed — a higher rate than 32 of the other 46 senators who are members of or caucus with the Democratic Party.
Other than Klobuchar, each of the senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination has voted to confirm fewer than half of Trump’s judicial nominees. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) voted to confirm 41%, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) voted for 42%. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also voted to confirm 42%, and was absent for two votes; of those he voted on, Sanders voted to confirm 43%. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) voted to confirm 40% of Trump’s judicial nominees, but missed 10 votes; of the nominees he voted on, he voted to confirm 45%. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) voted to confirm 45% of Trump’s nominees, but missed three votes; of those she voted on, Harris voted to confirm 47%.
Ten Democratic senators and one Independent who caucuses with Democrats voted to confirm more of Trump’s judicial nominees than Klobuchar. They are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Angus King (I-ME), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). In addition, Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Jack Reed (D-RI) matched Klobuchar by voting “yes” on 55 of Trump’s 97 judicial nominees.
Klobuchar’s campaign declined to comment for this story.
Confirming federal judges, which reached a record pace in 2018, has been a top priority for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) since Trump’s election. McConnell’s ability to quickly push through the nominations, effectively reshaping the judiciary for decades to come, is frequently cited as a primary reason the president has maintained support from Republicans amid historic disapproval ratings among the public at large.
Correction: This story has been corrected to add the senators’ latest votes to the total numbers and to remove an inaccurate reference to Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN). Smith voted for Trump’s judicial nominees just 44 times.