Trump judicial picks flip two federal circuit courts from left to right
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The ideological balance of the U.S. Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals has been shifted from liberal to conservative, thanks to judicial nominees selected by President Donald Trump, with more on the horizon.
Trump saw 24 of his nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals confirmed during the first congressional term of his presidency, IJR reports, exceeding the 15 his predecessor Barack Obama confirmed during the same period.
These two courts encompass stretches of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
The Eighth and Eleventh Circuit Courts are also close to flipping sides, and the Trump administration reportedly has a special interest in reshaping the infamously left-wing Ninth Circuit. Moreover, these moves could be even more important than flipping the Supreme Court, as circuit courts are vital to ensuring that controversial, precedent-altering cases reach the Supreme Court in the first place.
“It’ll be really important for the Second and the Ninth Circuits to have between two and four really good, high-octane intellectual conservative jurists,” an unnamed individual “close to the judicial-nominations process” explained to the New York Times Magazine, “because dissents provide a signaling function to the U.S. Supreme Court, and those are very important circuits.”
The end of August saw a flurry of activity on judicial nominations, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell canceling the August recess for the purpose of confirming backlogged Trump nominees.
As of August 24, however, the Senate had confirmed only two of the 180-name list, thanks largely to Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s absence from the Senate Judiciary Committee. For months, conservative activists have blamed the slow pace of confirmations to a mix of Democrat obstruction and GOP Senate leaders not taking a harder line to quash it.
In hopes of making up for lost time, before the end of the month the Senate reached a deal to fast-track an additional 27 executive branch appointees and seven nominees to lower courts, with another eight judges slated to be confirmed this week.
All told, 60 judges have been confirmed since Trump took office, including 33 district court judges, 26 appeals court judges, and Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Trump’s transformation of the federal courts has been one of the most significant consequences of Trump’s election in the eyes of both jubilant conservatives and outraged liberals.
“We can win back the House this November, we can defeat Trump in 2020 and we’ll still be dealing with the lingering effects of Trumpism for the next 30 or 40 years because of the young Trump-appointed judges,” Democrat operative Brian Fallon told the Times.
Senate confirmation hearings are currently underway for the president’s second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.