As June came to an end, it marked the confirmation of President Trump’s 200th judge. These judicial appointments will leave a lasting legacy long after Trump is gone. Let’s take a look at the significance of this number and what it means for the future.
Why so Many?
200 judicial appointments seems like a lot; however, Trump had an uncommonly high number of judge vacancies to fill when he became President. According to an article written by Alexandra Hutzler for newsweek.com, “Trump inherited 108 lifetime federal judicial vacancies when he entered office in 2017, the most for an incoming president since Bill Clinton in 1992. With the help of Republicans in Congress, Trump has been appointing federal judges at a historic pace.”
Why is this Significant?
To put things in perspective, it took many previous presidents two terms to appoint roughly 350 judges each. To confirm 200 in less than four years has required a lot of work. An article written by Devan Cole and Ted Barrett for cnn.com states, “With the confirmation of Judge Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump has successfully appointed 53 appeals court judges, 143 district court judges, two US Court of International Trade judges and two Supreme Court justices — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office.” This latest confirmation has additional significance. It marks the first time in forty years where there has not been a circuit-court vacancy anywhere in the United States.
How are Judges Confirmed?
The confirmation of these 200 judges were streamlined because of the process in which they are appointed. According to uscourts.gov, “Supreme Court justices, court of appeals judges, and district court judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate, as stated in the Constitution. The names of potential nominees are often recommended by senators or sometimes by members of the House who are of the President’s political party.” Simply put, when there is a Republican president, and the Senate is controlled by Republicans, it makes the job easier.
What Does this Mean for the Future?
The President is more likely to appoint judges who have similar political views. The ideology of each new judge is likely going to lean heavily on the conservative side. The above mentioned cnn.com article also states, “Judicial confirmations may be President Trump’s most important legacy,” said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. “They will shape the nation’s laws on abortion, LGBT rights, voting rights and many other issues long after Trump leaves office.” Not only were many of his selections young individuals who will serve for a long time, these appointments were for lifelong positions. These new federal judges will quite literally be helping to mold our political world for decades.
Appointing judicial positions is an important part of being President. As time passes, it will be interesting to see how these 200 individuals help shape the future of both politics and our country’s court systems.