While many areas of Trump’s Agenda seem to be stalled or being derailed by Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans, there is an area where Trump’s push for confirmations should provide a good deal of relief — the justice system. Just as his nomination of Neil Gorsuch brought a sigh of relief to constitutionalists in the Supreme Court, President Trump has been working overtime to gather lists of names to place in all important judgeships across the country. People who are hopefully much more conservative and constitution-oriented than some the previous president pushed through the system.
Judgeships actually shape and preserve our laws from the ground up often forestalling the need to constantly advance to higher courts for closer scrutiny. Hopefully the Senate Judicial Committee can get most of those to be confirmed through the system and ready to relieve the stress from not enough experienced and qualified judges to hear cases especially in the area of immigration and illegal immigrants.
Nominees Enter Trump’s Courts with Praise
Family Research Council
August 1, 2017
As the health care debate unfolded on Capitol Hill, President Trump was simultaneously working to fulfill another promise — restoring order to the activist courts.
And so far, the new president is breaking all kinds of records to accomplish it, moving at a “breakneck pace” to fill dozens of key judicial vacancies. Outpacing even Barack Obama, Trump’s moves weren’t so much under the radar as underreported by a media consumed by the Senate soap opera.
If anyone understands the significance of that, it’s Democrats.
“This will be the single most important legacy of the Trump administration,” Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) told Business Insider. “[The Senate majority] will quickly be able to put judges on circuit courts all over the country, district courts all over the country that will — given the [nominees’] youth and conservatism — have a significant impact on the shape and trajectory of American law for decades.”
Judicial appointments may be exactly the momentum the party needs to get back in voters’ good graces. After all, Coons explains, this deserves America’s attention “given… the significance of what will eventually be a wholesale change among the federal judiciary.”
Calling his progress “staggering,” court watchers say the number of nominees for “vacant U.S. attorney positions, a crucial area, is dwarfing that of the past administration this early on.” Although Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was the biggest prize, Trump’s “judges-first” mentality has the potential to shift issues before they ever reach the high court.
By July, a half-year into the president’s term, Trump had nominated “18 people for district judgeship vacancies, 14 for circuit courts and the Court of Federal Claims, and 23 for U.S. attorney slots.
During that same timeframe in President Barack Obama’s first term, Obama had nominated just four district judges, five appeals court judges, and 13 US attorneys. In total, Trump nominated 55 people, and Obama just 22,” Allan Smith points out. Even more interesting, 45 are from (or nominated for seats) in states that Donald Trump won in the November election.
One thing’s for sure: the White House is keeping the Senate hopping. Still in session for two more weeks, McConnell’s chamber had hoped the overtime would help the GOP deliver wins on originalists like Kevin Newsom, an Alabama appeals court nominee.
With 136 “help wanted” signs hanging over the federal bench, Republicans looked forward to at least some cooperation from Democrats — only to face a barrage of stalling tactics and procedural games. In the tradition of the Senate, the Judiciary Committee won’t move a nominee unless both home state senators send back the blue slip of approval.
Not surprisingly, Senate Democrats have had more than their share of “my-dog-ate-my-blue-slip” excuses. Moving at a glacial pace, they’ve only confirmed three of Trump’s nominees to the federal bench.
But Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) patience is wearing thin.
Read the entire article HERE.
According to the US Federal Court vacancies list, there are right now a total 138 vacancies at least one of which has been open since 2010 and 24 currently pending nominees. At the current time 52 of the current vacancies are in “emergency fill” status. Future vacancies opening between now and the end of 2018 are listed at 22 with one pending to be confirmed.
Wikipedia noted that during President Barack Obama’s terms in office, he nominated 7 people for 27 different federal appellate judgeships. Many of them stalled on the floor of the Senate.
He also nominated over three hundred individuals for federal judgeships. Of these nominations, Congress confirmed three hundred and seven judgeships, 173 during the 111th & 112th Congresses and 134 during the 113th Congress. Eleven of Obama’s confirmed judges have been openly gay or lesbian. One female judge is openly Muslim and was sworn in using the Quran.
In line with Obama’s efforts to promote diversity, his judiciary nominees were about 43% women and 36% non-white. He encouraged applicants of all backgrounds. (not a bad thing at all as long as personal doesn’t affect professional decisions) A Guardian news article from June 2016 stated There were 785 federal judges at the time of the article, according to the Federal Judicial Center, with about 90 vacancies outstanding. They consist of 520 men and 265 women. The racial breakdown in June 2016: 107 African-Americans, 80 Hispanics, 25 Asian American Pacific Islanders, one Native American and 579 whites.
Obama’s recess appointment controversy actually stalled several of the nominations for justices not because the appointments were for judges (noted Sen Grassley) but because of what the Republicans saw as an unlawful run around their right to review and approve executive agency officials due to his defiance of constitutional authority.
For those interested in the judicial confirmations, check out “In the News” at Judicial Nominations.
Here are just a few interesting snippets from articles they highlight:
May 2017 –
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals court is too male, too white.
Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson adding federal judges – “Florida Federal Judicial Relief Act.”
Feinstein defends “blue slip” stalling and Democrat obstruction.
Republican senators mulling ways to push past Democrat stalling.
Judge for key court that presides over challenges to federal agency actions will be stepping down.
Deputy White House counsel candidate for one of the most important appeals courts in the nation.
As you can see that is a LOT of positions that could potentially have much more liberal decisions and challenges to go up the chain of court as well as affect our laws and potentially the interpretation of our constitution for generations to come.
I am amazed that President Trump with all that is happening has been able to accomplish this much. Now it is to be seen how the Senate will push through confirmations (if they find the balls to do so) and what method that will employ.