“It is up to us to reclaim our heritage of equal and impartial justice. It is up to us to re-dedicate ourselves to the traditions and wisdom of our Founders.”— President Donald J. Trump at the swearing in ceremony of Brett Kavanaugh
While eyes are glued to the “historic” Congressional impeachment poppycock that will be relegated to footnote status a nanosecond after the Senate votes, real and lasting work by President Trump and the Republican Senate continues to get done.
What was somewhat missed in Trump’s wildly successful last few weeks — a new North American trade agreement, stunning employment numbers, a full budget, and an interim China trade deal — was that the number of approved federal judges is just racing forward.
This is incredibly important and the media just isn’t interested. But the reality is that as great as a strong economy and fair trade agreements are, the longest lasting effect of any President is in the courts. Economies go up and down and policies change with administrations, but judges are forever (well, in figurative political terms.)
Over a 10-day period at the beginning of December, the Senate confirmed eight more district court judges to the bench and two more judges to the notorious U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Steadily, the Ninth Circuit is becoming less radical and threatening to American liberties. And that is true for the entire federal judiciary.
Trump has already appointed more judges to the federal court in less than three years than President Obama did in his first full term, including flipping the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from a majority appointed by Democrats to a majority appointed by Republicans. Further, Trump and the Republican Senate are about to flip, this month, the Second and Eleventh Circuits from Democrat-appointed majorities to Republican.
And finally, on the impact side of this, the average age of circuit judges appointed by Trump is less than 50 years old, which is a decade younger than the average age of Obama’s circuit judge appointments, meaning they are likely to stay on the courts much longer.
It’s not just the quantity of judges, but the quality of judges.
Jonathan Adler at Reason wrote, “Contrary to common characterizations in the press and punditocracy, President Trump’s nominees have, on the whole, been quite impressive and highly qualified. While there are some notable exceptions, the qualifications of Trump’s judicial nominees compare favorably with those of his predecessors.”
Through 2018, the Congressional Research Service revealed that a higher percentage of judges nominated by President Trump received “Well Qualified” ratings from the American Bar Association than any modern President except for George W. Bush. That trend has continued into 2019. So for the first three years of Trump appointments, judicial nominees rated “well qualified” are running at a higher percentage than Obama’s — and that’s with an increasingly partisan ABA doing the rating.
Of course, these facts will virtually never be reported in the mainstream media. But they are important for the quality of the decisions that will be coming for decades. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham gets it.
“As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will continue to push through highly qualified, conservative judges at all levels of the federal courts,” Graham said. “These conservative judicial appointments will impact our nation for years to come.”
Decades. Even generations. All as the impeachment disappears in a political blink.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.