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 some three-quarters 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 over 63% of Trump’s judicial nominees who were eventually confirmed — a higher rate than 35 of the other 46 senators who are members of or caucus with the Democratic Party.
Sens. Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Tom Carper (D-DE) have backed the president’s judicial nominees more frequently than Klobuchar. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) has matched Klobuchar by voting “yes” for 55 of Trump’s 87 judicial nominees who were later confirmed.
Klobuchar is also an outlier in the crowded field of contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have each voted “yes” on fewer than half of Trump’s judicial nominees, while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is slightly over that mark at 50.6%.
Though Booker has cast the fewest “yes” votes of the 2020 contenders, he abstained from voting on seven of Trump’s judicial nominees, which is why he is surpassed by Warren, Gillibrand, Sanders, and Harris when ranked by how many “no” votes they’ve each cast.
Neither Klobuchar’s campaign nor her Senate office responded to several requests for comment on her voting record.
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.
Graphics: Diana Ofosu