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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:06 PM   #1
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The One Area Where Trump Has Been Wildly Successful


Progressives breathed a sigh of relief recently when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy decided to remain on the Supreme Court for presumably at least one more year. But no matter how long Kennedy stays, a massive transformation is underway in how our fundamental rights are defined by the federal judiciary. For while President Trump is incompetent at countless aspects of his job, he is proving wildly successful in one respect: naming youthful conservative nominees to the federal bench in record-setting numbers.

Trumpís predecessors all slowly ramped up their judicial nominations during their first six months in office. Ronald Reagan named Sandra Day OíConnor to the Supreme Court and made five lower-court nominations in that period; George H.W. Bush made four lower-court nominations; Bill Clinton named Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the high court but no lower-court judges; and George W. Bush named four lower-court judges who were processed by the Senate (plus more than a dozen others sent back to him and later renominated). The most successful early actor, Barack Obama, named Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and nine lower-court judges who were confirmed.

What about Trump? He not only put Neil M. Gorsuch in the Supreme Court vacancy created by Merrick Garlandís blocked confirmation, but he also selected 27 lower-court judges as of mid-July. Twenty-seven! Thatís three times Obamaís total and more than double the totals of Reagan, Bush 41 and Clinton ó combined. For the Courts of Appeals ó the final authority for 95 percent of federal cases ó no president before Trump named more than three judges whose nominations were processed in his first six months; Trump has named nine. Trump is on pace to more than double the number of federal judges nominated by any president in his first year.

Moreover, Trumpís picks are astoundingly young. Obamaís early Court of Appeals nominees averaged age 55; Trumpís nine picks average 48. That means, on average, Trumpís appellate court nominees will sit through nearly two more presidential terms than Obamaís. Many of Trumpís judicial nominees will be deciding the scope of our civil liberties and the shape of civil rights laws in the year 2050 ó and beyond.

How conservative are Trumpís picks? Dubbed ďpolemicists in robesĒ in a headline on a piece by Slateís Dahlia Lithwick, Trumpís nominees are strikingly . . . Trumpian. One Trump nominee blogged that Kennedy was a ďjudicial prostituteĒ for trying to find a middle ground on the court, and said that he ďstrongly disagree[d]Ē with the courtís decision striking down prosecution of gay people under sodomy laws. Another equated the Supreme Courtís decision in Roe v. Wade, upholding a womanís right to choose to have an abortion, to the courtís 19th-century Dred Scott finding that black people could not be U.S. citizens. Another advocated an Alabama law that denied counsel to death-row inmates.

Progressives who are increasingly counting on the federal courts to be a bulwark against Trumpís initiatives will increasingly find those courts stocked with judges picked by, and in sync with, Trump. With federal judges serving for life, one might think that the process of dramatically changing the makeup of the federal judiciary would take a long time. But given Trumpís unprecedented pace, in just one more year, one-eighth of all cases filed in federal court will be heard by a judge he appointed.

With the abolition of the filibuster, Trumpís nominees need only the votes of Republican senators to win confirmation. Yes, if Kennedy resigns and Trump nominates someone who might overturn Roe v. Wade, pro-choice Republicans could balk; and a few of Trumpís most outrageous lower-court nominations might be unnerving enough to attract GOP opposition. But the reality is that most of Trumpís rapid-fire, right-wing, youthful lower-court nominations are poised to make it to the bench.

What can Democrats do?

First, they need to contest every procedural change the Republicans are making to speed Trumpís nominees. Republican leaders are threatening to curtail ďblue slipĒ rights that allow senators to block unacceptable home-state nominees; Trump is nominating candidates before they are reviewed by the American Bar Association; Judiciary Committee Republicans are arguing that nomineesí writings, legal representations and public statements are irrelevant to confirmation. Democrats should oppose these changes in the process ó and, if they lose these fights, insist that any new laxity should apply when a future Democratic president sends nominees to the Senate.

Second, Democrats need to overcome their historic unease about working closely with progressive legal groups. The pace and conservatism of Trumpís judicial nominees reflect his close alliance with a conservative group, the Federalist Society. But in the past, Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill have been reluctant to form a similar alliance with the Federalist Societyís progressive counterpart, the American Constitution Society, to identify potential judicial nominees. (Disclosure: I have long been active in the ACS.) When the Democrats regain control over the nomination or confirmation process, they need to be as enthusiastic about working with the ACS and other progressive groups as Republicans have been about their alliance with the Federalist Society.

And finally, nothing is more important than taking back the Senate in 2018. The only thing that can stop the Trump train of judicial transformation is a Senate Judiciary Committee in Democratic hands. Absent that, the next two generations of Americans will live under laws interpreted by hundreds of judges picked by the president with the greatest disdain for the rule of law in our history.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...pinions&wpmm=1
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:13 PM   #2
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"polemicists in robes"
It is funny how the left describes justices and judges who uphold the Constitution.
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:15 PM   #3
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Essentially, the Supremes haven't changed. Gorsuch replaced Scalia.
Both conservative. Both experienced. The dynamics between the justices may not have changed much at all. Let's see how Gorsuch rules.
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:16 PM   #4
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It is funny how the left describes justices and judges who uphold the Constitution.


AND by Constitution you mean YOUR Constitution---the DEAD one?
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:18 PM   #5
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AND by Constitution you mean YOUR Constitution---the DEAD one?
There is only one. This is a cue for you to substantiate your anti-American, anti-rule or law, anti-rights, and living Constitution.
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:20 PM   #6
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There is only one. This is a cue for you to substantiate your anti-American, anti-rule or law, anti-rights, and living Constitution.
jesus

go beat it somewhere else
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:22 PM   #7
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jesus

go beat it somewhere else
Why do you have a problem with my asking Clara to backup a living Constitution?
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Old July 20th, 2017, 03:49 PM   #8
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I don't have a problem with your asking a civil question.

I have a problem with your arrogant and uncalled for condescension and pretension.
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Old July 20th, 2017, 04:03 PM   #9
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I don't have a problem with your asking a civil question.

I have a problem with your arrogant and uncalled for condescension and pretension.
Methinks you are in a life or death battle with the English language.
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Old July 20th, 2017, 04:05 PM   #10
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I don't think - I know - that you have lost your life or death battle with assholeism.
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