By Dave Andrusko
As the last post for 2018, I’d like to very briefly dig into a story by Zoe Tillman, headlined “Trump’s New Judges Are Everything Conservatives Hoped For And Liberals Feared.”
As pro-lifers look ahead to the next two years of President Trump’s first term, we can never be reminded enough of the promise he made when he was Candidate Trump: to appoint judges and justices who respect the Constitution, who faithfully interpret and apply the law as it actually is, and who do not write their policy preferences into their decisions.
The overarching point of Tillman’s piece is
“the US Supreme Court hears a relatively small proportion of cases each year. Putting judges on the federal appeals courts — courts that set precedent for federal district courts and can only be reversed by the Supreme Court — has been, and continues to be, a top priority for the White House and Senate Republicans.
In other words his subject is not the Supreme Court, where President Trump has already nominated and had confirmed two justices: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. That is hugely important, but not the only important judicial selections.
Tillman’s lead doesn’t mince words:
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has gotten more judges confirmed to federal appeals courts in his first two years in office than any president in modern history. With 30 new circuit judges on the bench, and a dozen nominees pending in the Senate, Trump has more than made good on a campaign promise to reshape the judiciary.
To give perspective, Tillman compares what President Trump has already accomplished in two years with what President Obama succeeded in doing during his entire first four years:
There are 167 judgeships on the regional appeals courts, not counting senior judges who handle a smaller docket and don’t normally participate when the full court hears cases. Trump has already gotten 30 appeals judges confirmed, making up 18% of those seats. That’s how many appeals judges were confirmed during Obama’s entire first term.
A good reminder, yet again, that elections do have consequences.