USA: President Donald Trump is appointing federal judges at a blistering pace

President Donald Trump

The Economist – Graphic detail – Feb 14th 2020

ON ALMOST ANY measure, President Donald Trump ranks himself among the most successful presidents in history. In one area—making appointments to America’s federal court system—he may actually be right. In a little over three years, Mr Trump has nominated and won Senate confirmation for 192 federal judges, including 137 district-court judges, 51 appellate judges and two Supreme Court justices.

No president since at least Ronald Reagan has racked up judicial appointments so quickly (the closest was Bill Clinton with 189 at this point in his presidency: see chart). By the end of the year, on current trends, a quarter of federal judges will be Mr Trump’s appointees. They may prove his most enduring legacy.             

Mitch McConnell deserves much of the credit. The Senate majority leader has made confirming the president’s judicial nominees his “top priority” (his motto: “leave no vacancy behind”). He has not let Senate norms and institutions get in his way. To speed up the process, Republicans have scheduled confirmation hearings during Senate recesses, and packed several hearings into a single day, over objections from their Democratic colleagues.

They have also done away with the “blue slip” policy, a century-old tradition giving senators the power to block judicial nominees from their home states. Mr McConnell was not always in such a hurry. In 2016 his delaying tactics denied then-President Barack Obama a chance to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. They ultimately paid off when Mr Trump won the presidency and appointed Neil Gorsuch to the seat.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On February 18, 2020 at 1:05 am

    Judges should be elected not “appointed”
    And so should royals !

    In my opinion

    Kamtan

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