FILE PHOTO - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks at a Harden County Republican party fundraiser in Elizabet...

McConnell promises to speed pace on judicial nominees

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top Republican, facing increasing pressure from conservative groups, is promising to upend a longstanding Senate tradition in order to speed the confirmation pace on a backlog of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.

Conservative activists such as the Judicial Crisis Network have been increasingly frustrated with the slow pace on judicial nominees. The influential group had threatened to run ads against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell starting this week but backed off after winning assurances from the Kentucky Republican that the pace will quicken.

McConnell has also announced in media interviews that the Senate will no longer abide by a longstanding tradition that home-state senators must sign off on a judge before a Senate vote.

Democrats have been slow-walking many of Trump’s nominees but say McConnell is going too far.