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Amid intense focus on impeachment and year-end deals on spending and trade, the Senate hurtled this week toward a less-heralded accomplishment: confirming another batch of conservative judges.

Senators confirmed 13 of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, bringing to 102 the number of federal judges approved this year — more than twice the annual average over the past three decades.

The steady transformation of the courts reflects the single-minded focus of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has vowed to “leave no vacancy behind” as he and Trump seek to tilt the judicial branch to the right.

The judicial confirmations include 20 additions to the U.S. Court of Appeals, bringing to 50 the number of federal appeals court judges confirmed in Trump’s first three years in office. The relentless pace means that more than a quarter of all federal appeals court judges were nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

“While all eyes were understandably on impeachment, Mitch McConnell’s conveyor belt churned out a shocking number of judges this week in what remains the most underrated story of the Trump era,″ said Christopher Kang, chief counsel at Demand Justice, a liberal advocacy group.

“Trump’s hijacking of our judiciary will be his most enduring legacy, and it will continue to threaten everything progressives care about long after he leaves office,” Kang said.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, insists the stepped-up pace of confirmations is not a partisan achievement.

“It is not one party or the other that benefits when our federal courts consist of men and women who understand that a judge’s job is to follow the law, not to make the law,″ he said on the Senate floor last week.

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