(Freedom.news) There is perhaps no better mechanism for a president to leave a lasting legacy than through the federal judiciary. Presidents–with Senate advice and, importantly, consent–name judges to the federal bench, as well as Supreme Court justices, all of whom serve lifetime appointments, lest they be impeached by Congress (which does not happen much).
President Obama has certainly left his Left-wing mark on the federal judiciary, having appointed two Supreme Court justices who are politically left of Che Guevara and dozens of federal judges. But President-elect Trump will have a tremendous opportunity to leave his mark on the Judicial Branch, with the appointment of perhaps as many as three Supreme Court justices and more than a hundred federal judges, especially if he serves two terms.
In fact, as reported by The Washington Post, Trump will inherit 100 vacancies and is already planning to reshape the judiciary:
Donald Trump is set to inherit an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to the open Supreme Court seat, giving the president-elect a monumental opportunity to reshape the judiciary after taking office.
The estimated 103 judicial vacancies that President Obama is expected to hand over to Trump in the Jan. 20 transition of power is nearly double the 54 openings Obama found eight years ago following George W. Bush’s presidency.
Confirmation of Obama’s judicial nominees slowed to a crawl after Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015. Obama White House officials blame Senate Republicans for what they characterize as an unprecedented level of obstruction in blocking the Democratic president’s court picks.
The result is a multitude of openings throughout the federal circuit and district courts that will allow the new Republican president to quickly make a wide array of lifetime appointments.
Though the Post’s “political” correspondents don’t seem to understand it, opposition parties are supposed to “oppose” the political party in power if the two do not see eye-to-eye on legislation, policy and of course judicial appointments. So in that proper context, the GOP has done exactly right by the voters who put them in the majority; it’s not as if Democrats who controlled the Senate rolled over for W. Bush during his last two years in office.
But beyond the political complaining, the Post’s report makes it clear that Trump has a golden opportunity to put a plethora of constitutionalists back on the federal bench–men and women who are not Left-wing hacks and activists but who are instead understand that the nation’s founding document envisioned a weak federal court system that deferred to states and the Congress when it came to the exercise of power and the people’s will.
Here’s hoping the president-elect, as president, puts judges and justices on the bench who expand, rather than continue to shrink, our personal circles of liberty.
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