President Trump campaigned on judges, and he delivered at an impressive rate. As Mike Davis puts it:
To put this in perspective, President Obama appointed 55 circuit judges in 8 years; President Trump has appointed 53 in under 4. In doing this, President Trump has filled every federal circuit-court vacancy – something not done by any president in more than 40 years.
At 200 (and counting), President Trump is #2 of 45 for the pace of all Article III judges – and he would be #1 but for the fact that Congress created 152 new judgeships (25 percent) for President Carter to fill.
Carrie Severino details the importance of the campaign promise President Trump made and the importance of the issue for the 2020 election:
In 2016, Trump became the first presidential candidate to pre-release to the public a shortlist of his Supreme Court prospects, a precedent he is now repeating. In just one term, Trump saved America from a court system that would have been dominated by liberals for a generation if Hillary Clinton had won. He knows what is at stake going forward. So does Joe Biden, who did so much to encourage the politicization of the courts as the Judiciary Committee chairman who presided over the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas nomination travesties.
Although some see Vice President Biden as a sort of nice-guy bumbler, Carrie’s last point is particularly important. It was Biden who broke the judicial confirmation system that led to the spectacles we have now on virtually all judicial confirmations.
The 200 confirmations occurred in the face of unprecedented obstacles. Democrats, intent for years on using the courts to impose their own policy agenda, abused one Senate process after another in the effort to prevent the upper chamber from getting its work done. They tried to distort the Senate’s blue slip tradition, a courtesy designed to allow senators from a judicial nominee’s home state time to consider the nomination, into a veto that they would use indiscriminately for the sake of delay.
Democrats also routinely forced cloture votes on judicial nominees, no matter how noncontroversial, in order to draw out the voting process and impose the 30-hour clock that kicked in after cloture was invoked. Cloture votes on nominations were first allowed by Senate rules during the Truman administration, but if we were to add together the sum of all such votes that were taken at this point in every presidency between Truman and Obama, that number would still be less than one-fifth of the number that Trump judicial nominees faced. Democrats also attempted to filibuster Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee.
While Democrat politicians are obstructing judicial nominees at an unprecedented level, Mike Davis notes what an honest liberal, Ian Millhiser, is saying about President Trump’s and his nominees on a substantive level:
“Trump hasn’t simply given lots of lifetime appointments to lots of lawyers. He’s filled the bench with some of the smartest, and some of the most ideologically reliable, men and women to be found in the conservative movement.” . . .
“There is simply no recent precedent for one president having such a transformative impact on the courts.”
Thank you, President Trump!