Andrew Ferguson, a former Bancroft associate and clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, has been named chief counsel for nominations on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he will be a key adviser as the Trump administration and Republicans plan to continue their breakneck pace confirming judges to the federal bench.

Ferguson’s new role coincides with the ascension of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, to the committee’s chairmanship. Last year, Ferguson was on the team advising the Republican-led Judiciary Committee as it elevated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The committee has played a central role in pushing the confirmations of more than 80 federal trial and appellate judges onto the bench.