It’s not always front and center in American political discourse, but the reality of the system as it is set up today is that the party in the White House gets to choose judges for the Federal courts. Above anything that the people are promised in campaigns, that is why one party or another wants the Oval Office, so that their ideology and political philosophy can and will be enshrined in bench law as one side or the other sues to get their way when the legislature passes laws that don’t jive with either side.
That is why the dynamic duo of the White House and the Senate is vital – and why We the People should be thanking our lucky stars that the Obama Administration was lax about appointing judges to fill vacancies. President Trump’s picks are now being confirmed – the one-hundredth judge was confirmed this week – thus ensuring the judiciary will have a conservative bent as he continues with the plan to Make America Great Again.
The full Senate on Thursday confirmed Rodolfo Ruiz to be a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. While that name does not ring a bell with most Americans – and while that court might not seem like a major national concern – Ruiz’s confirmation to that federal trial court represents something big regarding one of the top reasons voters sent President Trump to the White House….
Candidate Trump made clear that he wanted judges who would interpret federal law according to the text of the laws Congress passes, and interpret the Constitution according to the original public meaning of its words. He even published a list of potential Supreme Court picks from which he would choose new justices….
The president has had two Supreme Court picks: Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But while the Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation, less than one percent of federal appeals make it to the Supreme Court. The lower courts matter tremendously.
President Trump has appointed 37 judges to the U.S. courts of appeals. These include several judges now on the president’s list for the Supreme Court, such as Judge Amul Thapar of the Sixth Circuit and Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit. They also include several other judges who have distinguished themselves with their judicial opinions, while experts uniformly expect that number of newsworthy judges to increase.
The president has also appointed 60 judges to the U.S. district courts, where trials are conducted. New Senate procedures have sidelined Democrats’ obstruction efforts to block trial judges, so that number is expected to increase quickly as well.
This milestone will fade into the background as political fights heat up over other aspects of American politics, but in the meantime, the federal courts are being remade into something Trump can be proud of as part of his legacy.