All Sides Agree Judicial Nominations are a Key Issue in 2020 but Republicans are Winning in 2019

Today, the media was buzzing with stories focusing on the President’s power to nominate judges and how that is going to impact the 2020 election.  Democrat Presidential candidates have been talking about a wide variety of issues from Citizens United, Roe v. Wade litmus tests for nominees, to strategies aiming to fill the Supreme Court with liberal Justices.  Meanwhile, Senate Republicans keep confirming more judges and cementing President Trump’s legacy. 

The Democrats are being positively hyperbolic on the issue:

“Next year’s going to be an apocalyptic term,” said Brian Fallon, who runs the progressive judicial group Demand Justice.

Fallon, the press secretary for Clinton’s campaign in 2016, said he expects Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed after a contentious confirmation hearing, will cast the deciding vote on “bitter, acrimonious issues that’ll reopen the wound” for Democrats when it comes to the courts.

In the same story, a Republican pollster Whit Ayres counters:

“There are plenty of evangelicals who would basically say, back during the 2016 campaign, that it’s all about the court....The fact that [then-Candidate Trump] was willing to commit to nominating Supreme Court justices from a list compiled by the Federalist Society was an absolutely critical component of his victory.”

Ayres said the courts will be central to Trump’s hopes of mobilizing the right again in 2020.

Fallon has seemingly not recovered from the 2016 election, while Politico seems to side with Ayres in a story entitled Trump team convinced court overhaul will drive 2020 win:

Trump’s team believes that stacking the judicial system with conservative judges galvanizes the base, demonstrates his ability to follow through on a 2016 campaign promise and will help win over crucial 2020 states like Colorado, Florida and North Carolina. And Trump himself is convinced that judicial appointments are central to both his legacy and policy agenda, as he has pushed for young judges who can serve for decades, according to former administration aides, close White House advisers and those familiar with the administration’s judicial plans.

In addition to a winning issue, the confirmation of judges is the best work the Senate can do as Congressional Democrats won’t legislate.

“Obviously that’s going to be one of the most lasting legacies of the Trump administration and the next 25 to 30 years,” said Republican Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think it’ll remain a priority especially when our Democratic colleagues don’t seem too interested in legislating, particularly in the House.”

The RNLA has a project tracking the Democrat Presidential candidates' statement on judges.  Another group, led by 2019 Betty Murphy Award Winner Mike Davis formed this week to help confirm nominees.  The bottom-line: while the Democrats talk, Republicans in the Senate are working, confirming up to 5 more judges this week.