With One Year To Spare, Trump Breaks Record for Judges Appointed in First Term
President Donald Trump has so remade the face of the judiciary that, with a year to spare, he’s already broken the record for judges appointed in his first term.
Surprisingly, the president is taking a victory lap in celebration of the event. (OK … maybe it’s not so surprising.)
Earlier this week, Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the event, which actually happened last month.
Retweeting a video from Mitch McConnell celebrating the 50 judges Trump and Senate Republicans have managed to put on circuit courts — the most in a president’s first term since 1980 and almost as many as President Barack Obama managed to put on in eight years — Trump reminded everyone they’d also managed to confirm 187 federal judges total.
Now up to 187 Federal Judges, and two great new Supreme Court Justices. We are in major record territory. Hope EVERYONE is happy! https://t.co/ymEQljJyib
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2020
“Now up to 187 Federal Judges, and two great new Supreme Court Justices,” Trump said in the Wednesday tweet. “We are in major record territory. Hope EVERYONE is happy!”
There’s reason for Trump to be happy. For instance, take those 50 circuit court judges.
In the video, the Senate majority leader brags that “Mitch McConnell is giving the nation’s courts a face-lift.” Both he and Trump definitely have — and it’s made a lot of people very, very nervous.
Take The Boston Globe’s headline on Dec. 29: “Trump reshapes judiciary in his image.” Subheadline: “The astounding scale of President Trump’s remaking of the federal courts is cause for alarm.”
On that story, the featured image is Justice Brett Kavanaugh snarling, presumably from the Senate hearing during which he’d been accused of sexual assault and the subject of a heated, politicized barrage of questions. His anger at a terminally poxed story from Christine Blasey Ford — a story that was nevertheless taken at face value by the media — is apparently “cause for alarm.”
Another “cause for alarm” is the fact that certain decisions don’t go the way the editorial board of the Globe thinks they should go.
“No one can shape American society — for good or for ill — quite like federal judges,” the article began.
“Regressive moves by the courts in recent years have illustrated their awesome power to gut the Voting Rights Act, open the floodgates to political campaign funders, and give companies the right to refuse coverage of their employees’ birth control. Yet we’ve also seen federal judges serve as a critical bulwark against the President Trump’s attempts to circumvent environmental rules, declare a national emergency in order to fund a border wall, and ban travelers from predominantly Muslim countries.”
Those “regressive moves” should probably be put into context.
The “gutting” of the Voting Rights Act was a 2013 Supreme Court decision that invalidated a provision of the 1965 legislation requiring certain states, mostly in the South, to submit their election laws to the federal government for advance approval. The provision was written when those states were still fighting for de jure segregation.
The “floodgates” for “political campaign funders” almost certainly refers to Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission that challenged a provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act that blatantly violated the First Amendment’s protection of political speech by limiting independent campaign expenditures. (Full disclosure: One of the founders of Citizens United, Floyd Brown, is the publisher of The Western Journal.)
And, as for the part about “giv[ing] companies the right to refuse coverage of their employees’ birth control,” this has to do with several cases in which religious or faith-based employers were being forced by Obamacare to provide medical coverage that contravened their beliefs. This covered a very minute number of employees — and yet, it’s still being treated as if it were an outrage.
In short, this is why 187 new federal judges is great news for conservatives, if just because we know how those cases would be decided if it weren’t Trump in the White House.
“I’ve always heard, actually, that when you become president, the most — single most important thing you can do is federal judges,” Trump said in November, according to The Washington Post.
We’d be loath to disagree.
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