Opinion| Syndicated Via National File| KIM COULTER| In the last three years of Donald J. Trump’s Presidency, there have been 187 judges appointed to the federal bench.
Through the duration of President Trump’s fist term in the Oval Office, there have been almost 200 new judges which equates to one of of four Circuit Court Judges appointed by Trump including two of Trump’s Circuit Court Judges sit on the Supreme Court.
Last week during the impeachment hearings, the Senate confirmed 13 new conservative district court judges which makes his total number of appointed judges at the total 187.
Trump has appointed 50 judges to the circuit courts, the second most powerful courts in the nation. In contrast, former President Obama only managed to swear in 55 circuit court judges judges by the end of his second term.
Three circuit courts have shifted to majority GOP-appointed judges. These appointed judges also have been on average younger, which means a longer and more impactful influence from the GOP, including places like the Second Circuit in New York. This newly right-leaning circuit will be making a decision if they will reopen a case that prevented Trump from using the block feature on his Twitter account due to his role as a public official.
Another example of the benefits this shift provides to the Trump Administration is in the newly right majority in the 11th Circuit responsible and readied to examine the management of the appeals from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia concerning voting rights cases.
Despite criticisms that President Trump has been slow to deliver on certain policies, he has certainly delivered on the appointment of circuit court judges who uphold conservative policy and values which will have a long term effect on legislation in the United States.
“I’ve always heard, actually, that when you become President, the most — single most important thing you can do is federal judges,” Trump said at a White House event in November.
This push to “leave no vacancy behind” is largely spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R- KY, who is known for filling vacancies in the Senate expeditiously. McConnell did not apply this tactic when former President Obama tried to replace Antonin Scalia with Merrick Garland. There was no conformation hearing nor a vote, instead a delay of decision until President Trumps landslide victory in 2016. Trump then appointed Justice M. Gorsuch.
??: You didn’t think @SenateMajLdr would leave town without confirming more judges, did you?
Supreme Court: 2
Circuit courts: 50
District courts: 133
U.S. Court of International Trade: 2
Grand Total: 187
Merry Christmas America! pic.twitter.com/26xIBaHjke
— Senate Republican Communications Center (@SRCC) December 20, 2019
“You didn’t think @senatemajldr would leave town without confirming more judges, did you?” the Senate Republican Communications Center tweeted Friday. “Merry Christmas, America.”
Trump has expressed gratitude towards former President Obama for the large number of circuit court vacancies he left to be filled.
“Now, President Obama was very nice to us. He gave us 142 empty positions. That’s never happened before,” Trump said in the Oval Office on Thursday. “But, as you know, that’s said to be the most important thing that a President has.”
In this term, Trump has one more circuit vacancy he can fill, and certainly more to come in his likely second term. It’s not unreasonable to wonder if in Trumps second term he may have the opportunity to fill two more seats on the Supreme Court given the advanced age of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as well as Justice Stephen G. Breyer.