Filling Antonin Scalia’s seat was the headline judicial vacancy during the election.
But Donald Trump will have the ability to fill 103 federal court vacancies, including the lower federal courts.
And that could hamstring Democrats for generations.
When Obama came into office there were just 59 vacancies.
Trump now has the power to reshape the federal courts with conservative appointees that could hand down decisions on key issues such as gun control, abortion, religious liberty, regulations on so-called “man made” global warming, and laws allowing men in the women’s bathrooms.
The Daily Signal reports:
“While the Supreme Court reviews roughly 75 cases a year, the nation’s 13 regional circuit courts (or federal courts of appeals) heard more than 55,000 cases last year. The Supreme Court accepts 1 percent of the cases submitted to it, so in the great majority of cases, the circuit courts set a legal precedent when they decide appeals.
“If you are a cultural warrior watching for rulings on gay marriage and abortion, the Supreme Court is where you should look, but if you are a business, a taxpayer, an employee involved in a workplace dispute, or someone making a discrimination complaint, the circuit court is often the final word,” Curt Levey, a legal affairs fellow at FreedomWorks, said in an interview with The Daily Signal.
Conservative groups such as FreedomWorks say they expect Trump to quickly nominate justices to the lower courts, taking advantage of an opportunity given to him after Senate Republicans declined to confirm some of Obama’s judicial nominees the past few years.”
Nowhere will Trump’s ability to reshape the federal courts be felt more than on the Ninth Circuit.
The Ninth Circuit has long been a bastion of left-wing judicial activism.
Trump will have the ability fill four vacancies on that body.
And his appointees could bring much needed sanity to a judiciary that is often times out of control.
Some leftists are sounding a warning over this move.
“Outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called the vacancies a “judicial emergency,” according to Bay Area public radio station KQED, even though there are 29 judges on the court. The “emergency” is that Trump’s nominees might be able to make the court more conservative.
The Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction covers many West Coast states, and its decisions have often reflected the liberal political culture of California and other “left coast” outposts. Over the past several decades, the frequency with which the U.S. Supreme Court — which had a narrow 5-4 conservative majority until 2016 — reversed Ninth Circuit rulings became a recurring theme. However, the Ninth Circuit has shown flashes of independence, as in recent Second Amendment rulings.
Liberals are worried about that increasing “moderation” at the Ninth Circuit. KQED interviewed University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias, who commented: “I think even in the Obama years the court has moved to be more moderate than it used to be, so I think that with those four appointments it could make some difference and move the court further in that direction.”
On some issues, particularly on gay marriage, the liberal outlook of the Ninth Circuit has also become accepted more widely. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013), for example, vacated the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on procedural grounds but effectively paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage in California and elsewhere.”
Because of rule changes Harry Reid rammed through when Democrats still controlled the Senate, Trump’s appointees will require a simple majority vote.
Since Republicans hold the majority, Trump can push through even more conservative nominees than past Republican presidents who had to submit nominees that would have to garner Democratic votes.
Throughout the course of his Presidency, Trump will appoint hundreds of judges.
Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and George Bush all appointed over 300 federal justices.
Now it will be Trump’s turn, and he could shape a conservative judiciary that would guide America back to a more strict interpretation of the Constitution.