President Donald Trump has been impeached, but his legacy remains: one out of every four federal appeals court judges is a Trump nominee. Federal district and appellate judges receive lifetime positions.
Trump has also nominated one out of every seven federal circuit court judges. This ensures that neither the Electoral College nor a legal removal from office will affect Trump’s permanent mark on the judicial branch of our country.
Trump’s choices primarily come from the Federalist Society, a powerful organization comprised of legal scholars who interpret the Constitution without contemporary context. Most of these judges spoke carefully during their confirmations, refusing to answer explicitly how they side on such landmark federal cases as Brown v. Board of Education, Obergefell v. Hodges and Roe v. Wade.
However, a 2009 study published in Political Research Quarterly found that Federalist Society judges vote with more conservative principles than non-members. The Federalist Society, although refusing to espouse a united ideology or belief system, also supports judicial advocacy, ignoring the obligation of the third branch of government to remain unbiased.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who refused to meet with President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee following Antonin Scalia’s death in early 2016, has stated that pushing through Trump’s judicial nominees are a priority.
While we are currently focused on 2020, Trump and the GOP have ensured a decades-long legacy of judicial power.
Erika Stone-Burnett, Tulsa
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