Government & Politics

Trump's Excellent Judicial Nominations Continue

Conservatives who voted Trump primarily for court appointments can be extremely pleased with this list of judges.

Paul Albaugh · May 9, 2017

Many conservatives may not be happy with President Donald Trump signing the $1.1 trillion spending bill last week, and they may not be satisfied that we still have a long way to go toward repealing ObamaCare. Trump’s record for the first 100 days is mixed.

Conservatives can, however, be extremely pleased with at least one dimension of Trump’s presidency thus far, and that is his commitment to appoint originalist justices and judges at all levels. During his campaign, he promised that he would select conservative individuals to fill vacancies in the courts. That gave many voters leaning Trump the affirmation they needed. With his excellent selection of Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia, that faith paid off.

By all indications, tapping a conservative justice like Neil Gorsuch was just the beginning of more to come.

To the dismay of some, Trump has not placed too much emphasis on rushing to fill executive branch openings, but he isn’t plodding along with judicial nominations. In fact, the White House announced Monday that there would be 10 nominations to fill openings in several of the appellate and district courts. This is great news, but even better is that Trump plans to make his nominations to the lower courts a “near monthly event.”

His slate of nominations to the appellate courts in this round is excellent and will no doubt have lefties cringing at the prospect of the appellate courts shifting dramatically toward the Constitution.

Fox News has the list: “Two of the nominees originally were on the list of 21 candidates that the Trump transition team considered for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s death, and ultimately filled by Gorsuch. They are Justice Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court, nominated to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati; and Justice David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court, nominated to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. The other nominees are Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor nominated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago; John Bush, a Louisville lawyer nominated to the 6th Circuit; Kevin C. Newsom, a former Alabama Solicitor General nominated to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta; Judge David C. Nye, nominated to the U.S. District Court for Idaho; Scott L. Palk, a former federal prosecutor nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma; Damien Schiff, nominated to federal claims court; Dabney L. Friedrich, nominated to U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; and Judge Terry Moorer, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.”

These nominees are highly qualified and principled individuals who are similar to Gorsuch. They’re likely to influence the lower courts decisions in favor of Rule of Law.

Court nominations have lasting impact on policy, too. Trump’s travel ban is one of the policies that should have been carried out, yet due to activist judges, it was halted. It’s a prime example of how important it is to select judges who uphold Rule of Law. President Trump understands this and he anticipates many more legal battles ahead from leftists who want nothing more than to derail his presidential agenda.

During Barack Obama’s eight years, he made 331 federal judgeship appointments. Russell Wheeler, a fellow at the Brookings Institution Governance Studies Program, notes that when Trump was sworn into office in January, Democrat appointees held 51% of the 673 District Court judgeships, while Republican appointees held only 34%. In addition, there were 96 vacant seats when Trump was sworn in. When Obama took office, there were just 39 vacancies on the lower courts and Republican-appointed judges held 60% of the court posts, or 371 seats.

Trump’s greatest obstacle to his nominees will be Senate Democrats, who appear poised to drag their feet and then vote “no” on every single one, just out of spite. So it’s almost certain that his judicial nominations won’t be confirmed nearly as expediently as Trump would like. But Republicans in the Senate need not compromise on conservative appointees just to appease their Democrat counterparts. That happens far too often with Republicans in Congress, but rarely ever the other way around.

Appointing judges to the courts who are principled and who interpret the law in accordance with the Constitution is of the utmost importance. If there is one area where can Trump can make a huge difference and put America back on track, it’s the courts. He’s well on his way.

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