First, the sheer number of vacancies and pending nominations. Second, the Republican response to Democrats' abuse of the blue slip process:
“My view is that a blue slip on a circuit judge is simply a notification of how you’re going to vote. To conclude otherwise would’ve left us in the following position at the beginning of this Senate: 48 Democratic senators would’ve been able to blackball 62 percent of the circuit judge nominees. That’s simply not a tenable place to land in a Senate that now deals with judges on the — with a simple majority,” [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] said. . . . In May, [Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck] Grassley indicated he could give more deference to Democrats on district court judges than circuit court nominees.Third, Democrats' efforts to delay President Trump's nominees whenever possible:
Despite the nuclear changes, Republicans fume that their Democratic colleagues are obstructing Trump’s agenda by slow-walking confirmations. . . . Earlier this month, frustrated with requirements to file cloture motions to cut off debate on many Trump nominations, McConnell said he shouldn’t have to do so on picks that seem to have wide support. . . .
The procedural change hasn’t allowed the party in charge to move as fast as its conference would like. It can still take multiple days to confirm each nominee under the cloture procedure to limit debate, even with the lower threshold — typically 51 when all 100 senators participate.
And Democrats continue to use those rules to consider most nominees one at a time. They have not allowed any of Trump’s judicial picks to bypass procedural hurdles in committee or on the floor.The Democrats' strategy since day one of the Trump Administration has been to attack, delay, and obstruct. We are grateful for the leadership of Don McGahn in the White House Counsel's office, Leader McConnell in the Senate, and Chairman Grassley on the Senate Judiciary Committee in ensuring that excellent attorneys are nominated for and confirmed to the federal bench.