Trump's Biggest Impact So Far: The Federal Courts

Legal experts on the right and left agree on one thing: President Trump has already had an enormous impact on the federal courts and is poised to restore and bolster respect for the rule of law in the federal judiciary for many years to come: 

With five judges confirmed, another 30 pending and 123 seats left to fill, according to one group tracking the numbers, Trump has the opportunity to revamp the judiciary branch and carve out a legacy for himself that could stand the test of time. 

“It can’t be overstated the impact the individuals he’s appointing will have on millions of people across the country and their children for a generation or two,” said Dan Goldberg, legal director at the liberal Alliance for Justice (AFJ). . . . While another appointment to the high court in Trump’s presidency is possible or even likely, given the ages of several justices, it’s appointments to the lower district and circuit courts where the president is likely to have a bigger impact. . . . 

Conservatives, meanwhile, are accusing Democrats of “slow walking” the judicial nominations. Under the “blue slip” process, senators sign off on judicial nominees from their home state; they object to a nominee by failing to return the paper to the Judiciary Committee. . . . 

“Elections have consequences. It can’t be understated that judicial nominations, being lifetime appointments, are huge,” [Ilya Shapiro, a member of the conservative Federalist Society and senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute,] said. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is still waiting for these blue slips to be returned before it schedules hearings: Colorado Senator Michael Bennet for Justice Allison Eid, nominated to the 10th Circuit, and Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken for Justice David Stras, nominated to the 8th Circuit.  We are grateful for the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley in supporting the nominations of President Trump's qualified judicial nominees. The RNLA will continue to advocate for the swift confirmation of qualified federal judges, too. To sign up to help us with this effort, please click here.