From: legalinsurrection.com, by William A. Jacobson, on May 8, 2017
Democrats removed filibuster in 2013, allowing Obama to pack the lower courts, now the rebalancing begins.
As we have pointed out repeatedly, Trump has an unprecedented opportunity to nominate a substantial percentage of the federal judiciary.
There are currently over 100 vacancies, and many more are likely to open up, Liberal nightmare: Trump could appoint half federal judiciary. Yet Democrats, so blinded by the light of #TheResistance, appeared oblivious to the approaching Tsunami of Trump lower court nominations.
Today the first waves of the Trump judicial nomination tsunami hit the beaches in D.C.
USA Today reports, Trump names 10 conservatives to federal courts:
President Trump borrowed a page from George W. Bush’s playbook Monday by nominating 10 federal court judges en masse, almost 16 years to the day that Bush named 11 appeals court judges — including a Washington lawyer named John Roberts who soon became chief justice of the United States.
Trump’s action represents the opening salvo in what will be at least four years of battles with Senate Democrats over the federal judiciary, one that the president intends to pack with conservatives after President Barack Obama spent eight years tilting nearly every circuit court to the left.
Ilya Shapiro writing at the CATO Institute website likes the list, Trump’s First Slate of Lower-Court Judges Is Big League:
With this excellent slate, Trump continues fulfilling his campaign promise—perhaps his most important one, in terms of securing the Republican coalition—regarding judicial nominations. For example, the two state justices who were on the potential Supreme Court list, Joan Larsen and David Stras, are engaged jurists who will make terrific circuit judges. Kevin Newsom is a serious lawyer and public servant who will serve the nation well. Pacific Legal Foundation’s Damien Schiff, with whom I’ve worked on many cases, is an inspired pick for the Court of Federal Claims.
The main person missing from this first list of nominees is Justice Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court, who was also on the SCOTUS list and merits appointment to the Fifth Circuit. That would definitely be a bigly move. Of course, if some grand bargain is planned is where two other Texans are named to the Fifth Circuit openings and Willett is held in reserve for the next Supreme Court vacancy, I’ll take that artful deal.
The Second Amendment Foundation also approves of the list:
President Donald Trump’s first round of federal court nominees “looks very promising,” and provides strong evidence that the president is determined to fulfill one of his most important campaign pledges, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.
“We will fully vet each nominee,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but at this point, it appears that Donald Trump is fulfilling his commitment to bring balance to the federal courts by nominating judges who adhere to the constitution rather than try to reinvent it to fit their own political agendas.”
In perhaps the best sign, the left-wing People for the American Way sees a vast right wing conspiracy at work:
“This slate of nominees is extremely troubling and sends a clear message that Donald Trump intends to appoint judges who will use their positions to shift the law dramatically in favor of corporations and the wealthy at the expense of ordinary people. Two of the nominees to circuit court seats have already appeared on the list of judges hand selected by far-right groups to be elevated to the Supreme Court; the records of other circuit court nominees on this list show that they’re in the same mold. We know that Donald Trump is looking for judges who will let him advance his extreme agenda….”
Keep in mind, Democrats can’t stop these nominees, they can only slow things down. Democrats having removed the filibuster in 2013 for lower court nominations opened the door for Trump to fill these seats quickly, Dems’ Nuclear Option will allow Trump to fill over 100 court vacancies quickly.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn persuasively explained The History of Democrat Deceit on Judicial Filibusters:
I hope that Trump moves will all due speed to fill as many of those 100+ vacancies as possible. If for some reason Democrats regain control of the Senate in 2018, the window of opportunity will have been missed.
Finally – a Republican is doing what democrats have done whenever they are in power – pack federal courts with judges who have “dependable” political views. Obama was prolific in naming federal judges and it paid off big time when democrats went judge shopping or were dependent on a federal judge to find in their favor. Now, finally, President Trump is giving the dems a taste of their own medicine (and they don’t like it).
Trump will have an easier time implementing his policies if he has more dependable help from the judiciary. We can bet the farm that a staunch democrat judge, named by Obama, won’t try very hard to see the merit in any policy that’s being executed by Trump – his default will be to issue a restraining order preventing its implementation. It’s like the game has been stacked against us – so many of the federal judiciary is made up of democrat-nominated judges. Now, perhaps we can level the playing field.
It’s like the cavalry is riding to the rescue – but it’ll take a while – we just need a lot more judges and we need them quickly.