It’s a little debated fact that in American politics one of the reasons one side or the other wants control of the executive branch of the federal government is to have the ability to appoint judges which are lifetime appointments that affect discourse in the nation for years after a president has left the office. Usually, that legacy is only discussed in terms of Supreme Court appointments, but, truthfully, just about all other judgeships are equally important.
This little factoid is one of the more curious points related to Barack Obama’s presidency. He left the office with hundreds of vacancies on the federal bench – a void President Donald Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell are busy filling in a systematic manner that now is flipping the ideological profile of multiple circuit courts.
While House Democrats pursue their partisan impeachment charade, the Senate Republicans confirmed Donald Trump’s 50th circuit judge last week — helping the president continue to shatter the all-time record for the number of critically important federal circuit judges appointed at this point in any prior presidency.
To put that number in context, President Barack Obama appointed 55 federal circuit judges during the entirety of his eight-year presidency; Trump has almost matched that in just three years. In doing this, the president has already appointed 25 percent of all active federal circuit judges around the country.
The two newest federal circuit judges are Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke, who won Senate confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over ferocious opposition by Senate Democrats and their left-wing allies.
A full quarter of the federal bench is now filled with Trump appointees. That is a legacy that will last well into the future (and is now being noticed by the other side). Not only that but the ninth circuit – the one that liberals run to for anything and everything they don’t like and want to be blocked in the courts – is now leaning more conservatives.
One of President Trump’s sons said that “impossible” was merely their father’s starting point. Many of us on the fruited plain never thought we would see this day that the ninth circuit would be anything more than a place for kangaroos to gather. Doing the impossible in flipping that court is definitely one way to put it.