Shaping the Federal Judiciary

Donald J. Trump appoints 200th Judge

Posted on Jun 24, 2020

Over the last three years, President Donald J. Trump has appointed a historic number of federal judges, more at this point in his presidency than any other president in modern history. These appointments have turned the balance of many federal courts to that of a Republican appointed majority. Nearly one out of every four active judges on United States Courts of Appeals has been appointed by President Trump; a critical accomplishment that will ensure the Constitution is upheld as written and the rule of law is honored for generations to come.

This week, President Trump will land his 200th federal judge appointment. As NBC News noted, “ It’s a number not achieved by any president at this stage of his administration in four decades.” The article continues:

“‘That impact will last generations,’ said David McIntosh, a co-founder and board member of the Federalist Society who runs the conservative group Club For Growth. ‘It’s one of the most, if not the most, significant achievements of the president.’

McIntosh said Trump’s picks are true believers in Justice Antonin Scalia’s philosophy that “judges should be bound by the original intent of the Constitution,” referring to the conservative icon who helped steer the legal debate to the right during his three decades on the Supreme Court. Scalia died in 2016.

In total, Trump has appointed more than one-fifth of the entire judiciary, which may exceed one-fourth this year. While his Supreme Court picks, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, have solidified a slim 5-4 conservative majority, his impact on federal circuit courts has been enormous. He has flipped the majority for Republicans on three circuits, which have the last word on a vast majority of federal cases.

The Senate is poised to confirm Trump’s 53rd circuit judge next week. Obama landed 55 circuit judges in all of his eight years.

Roger Pilon, a Federalist Society member and a constitutional scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the judges are “far and away” Trump’s biggest accomplishment. The new crop of judges see the Constitution as “a document of law,” he said, and not “a political document and empty vessel to be filled by transient majorities.”

“We are today in a world of two fundamentally different conceptions of the Constitution, and the people that Trump has been nominating and that the Senate has confirmed are deeply informed about this contrast,” Pilon said. “And they almost entirely stand on one side of it, and it’s not the side that the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee stand on.”

“That’s why the battle has been so vicious,” he said.

President Trump’s judiciary legacy is a momentous one that will affect Americans for decades to come. While the radical left wants to throw away the Constitution and the legal precedent our nation was founded on to force their radical values on Americans, President Trump has remained committed to appointing judges who prioritize the Constitution and law the way they were written.