May 08, 2017
Neil Gorsuch may have been Trump's biggest contribution to the courts, but he's far from the only one! The new Supreme Court Justice was just the opening act to what the president calls "monthly waves" of solid lower court nominees. With more than 120 openings on the bench, President Trump will have plenty of ways to leave his mark on the courts -- starting with the 10 stellar names he sent to the Senate today. Like Gorsuch, these are men and women with tremendous respect for their role and the Constitution they've been tapped to protect. That might explain the knee-jerk reaction from liberals who are already sounding the alarm bells. "Given the critical importance of the circuit courts," one far-Left expert warned, "it's incumbent upon the Senate to treat its duty to provide advice and consent very seriously."
Not surprisingly, the president drew from his list of potential Supreme Court picks to fill this first batch of nominees -- which means they've not only been vetting by trusted conservative sources, but they're also staunch originalists who understand the boundaries of the job. Once again, President Trump is a man of his word, keeping his promise "to appoint strong and principled jurists to the federal bench who will enforce the Constitution's limits on federal power and protect the liberty of all Americans." For conservatives, it's an important signal that his commitment didn't end when Gorsuch's confirmation did.
Obviously, the administration is all-in when it comes to balancing the courts that Barack Obama tipped with radical, agenda-driven activists. That's a welcome change from Trump's predecessor, who resorted to flooding the courts with liberals when he couldn't accomplish his agenda legislatively. Scan the resumes of the nominees announced today, and you'll notice they clerked for some familiar names: Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia to name a couple. "There are plenty of things about this president and this administration that are unconventional," Case Western University Professor Jonathan Adler pointed out, but "thus far, the Trump administration's judicial nominees have been in line with what you would expect from a Republican president."
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions understands the urgency of undoing that damage better than anyone. "We've got 127 federal judge vacancies that need to be confirmed, and then we've got 94 United States attorneys that need to be confirmed. So we're moving names forward... [W]e need to get them confirmed as fast as possible." Of those vacancies, almost half (50) are judicial emergencies, meaning that the seats have sat empty for at least a year and a half. And in most cases, these are America's busiest benches with workloads of 500 filings or so per judge. Help is on the way, if the Senate cooperates.
While most Americans zero in on the Supreme Court, FRC's Mandi Ancalle underscored the importance of the lower courts, especially moving forward. "With the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch behind us, it's fantastic to see President Trump turning his attention to Federal District and Circuit Court nominees. While the Supreme Court hears high profile cases, it is these lower courts that have a more direct and frequent impact on Americans' daily lives, and it is most often judges from these lower federal courts who are eventually nominated to serve on the bench at the High Court."
President Trump found quality men and women for the job -- now help senators do theirs! Contact both of your leaders and urge them to move quickly to confirm the White House's picks.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.