Now, conservatives are demanding that Restrepo — who had a critical booster in GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — be the last Obama nominee confirmed before the president leaves office.
On Monday evening, the lobbying outfit Heritage Action called for an end to judicial confirmations during Obama’s final year, and on Tuesday it will call for an end to all confirmations except for those necessary to national security. The high-profile conservative group joined previous calls by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other senators to block Obama from filling any further vacancies, most notably, the federal courts, which could decide key parts of his legacy in the years and decades ahead.
So far, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) isn’t planning on a full blockade: He’s already agreed with Democrats to approve four more federal judges by the end of February. Still, that won’t make much of a dent in the backlog of 30 lifetime judicial nominees still awaiting confirmation.