Donald Trump Can Make the Courts Great Again

Since taking office in 2009, President Barack Obama has had 329 judicial appointments confirmed by the Senate, dramatically changing the lay of the land in America’s federal court system. Under the guise of “diversifying” the nation’s judiciary, Obama has used his presidency to load the courts with liberal activists who rely on the wisdom of leftist ideology rather than legal precedent or the U.S. Constitution.

From the Washington Post:

Obama has used his nominations to systematically diversify the federal courts to look more like the fast-changing country. He appointed far more female and minority judges than any other president in history, and he has paid particular attention to sexual orientation. When Obama took office, there was only one openly gay or lesbian judge, and he appointed 11 more.

Because that’s what the United States was lacking – gay judges.

This has had an indelible and destructive effect on the nation’s justice system. When Obama was elected, only one of the country’s 13 circuit courts had a Democrat majority. Today, nine of them do. With all of the focus on the Supreme Court, it’s easy to forget that the vast majority of legal arguments are resolved at the circuit court level. Without some major changes at that level, a conservative Supreme Court can only have so much impact.

In Washington, they’re well aware of that fact. That’s why Democrats are scared to death about a Donald Trump presidency backed by a Republican-controlled Congress. It’s why they’re currently throwing a temper tantrum about the 25 Obama nominees who were left pending in the Senate as lawmakers recessed for Christmas. They know that Trump has a significant opportunity over the next four years to restore constitutional grounding to the nation’s judiciary.

All in all, Trump will have more than a hundred judicial vacancies to fill when he takes office on January 20. Many of those vacancies were previously held by Bush appointees, so it’s not going to be the massive wave of conservatism that it seems at first glance. Still, there will be plenty of opportunity for Trump and the GOP to balance the scales of justice.

“I’m optimistic he’ll come at this right out of the gate,” Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network told WaPo. “Every president can expect to make a huge impact. [Trump] is unique in having campaigned really hard on this issue – the significance of the courts, and of the Supreme Court in particular.”

Judicial nominations aren’t flashy, but they matter. If Trump sticks to his word and chooses judges who have a deep and abiding respect for the U.S. Constitution, he can truly make America great again.