Judicial Benchmarks

Trump Consistently Impressive on Judicial Nominations

Democrats are slowing confirmation of judicial nominees, hoping to regain control of Senate in 2018.

Thomas Gallatin · Oct. 3, 2017

President Donald Trump’s focus on the judicial system did not end with his nomination and the subsequent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. During his campaign, Trump promised to nominate “constitutional conservatives” to the courts, and he has been consistent in fulfilling that pledge. On Thursday, the White House announced another batch of judicial nominees — its eighth batch so far.

Trump has now made 18 nominations to the appellate courts, 29 to district courts and three to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The White House has been aided in its vetting of nominees by the Federalist Society, described by The Wall Street Journal as “a national clearinghouse for conservative legal talent.”

The bad news is that the Senate has thus far only managed to confirm four nominees to the appellate courts, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats have pulled out every delay tactic in the book to slow down the confirmation process. Schumer is playing the delay game, attempting to limit the number of judges confirmed before the 2018 election with the hopes of Democrats regaining majority control of the Senate.

As the Supreme Court swings back into action this week, there are rumors that Justice Anthony Kennedy, age 81, could retire after this current term in summer 2018. Kennedy has famously been known as the court’s “swing” member for having a history of sided with both conservative and liberal members on a range of high-profile cases. If Kennedy were to retire, Trump is sure to continue his form and nominate a solidly constitutional conservative justice. As with Gorsuch, Democrats are sure to throw everything they have to stop it.

Speaking of the Supreme Court, the justices will be taking up several important cases this term, including the constitutional limits on partisan gerrymandering. This is a case where all eyes will be on Justice Kennedy, as it seems that he will be the deciding vote. The court’s ruling on this decision has the potential to reshape the U.S. political landscape.

Overall, although slowed by stubborn opposition from Senate Democrats, Trump has proven that he is solidly committed to filling court openings across the nation with constitutionally committed judges. This is a win for America and our Constitution.

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