The US Senate has now confirmed more than 150 judicial nominees. Senator Lindsey Graham declared this was a “historic milestone.” These judges will be interpreting the Constitution according to its original intent for years to come.
Here is the breakdown. Judges confirmed to the lower federal courts exceed 105. And there are 43 circuit court nominees that have been confirmed. Add to that two Supreme Court justices, and you have a total of more than 150 confirmed judicial nominees. This number far exceeds what previous presidents have been able to do at this time in their first term.
Court flips are starting to take place. That is where a majority of liberal judges on a court have been replaced by a majority of conservative judges. The Third Circuit Court has already flipped. The Eleventh Circuit Court and the Second Circuit Court will probably flip soon.
One of the most dramatic changes is taking place in the Ninth Circuit Court (which covers the Western states). It has traditionally been a consistently liberal court, but recently handed the president a victory on his proposed asylum policy.
Here is an interesting set of statistics from a Washington Times article about judges. Most (53 of the 54) judges appointed by Democratic presidents ruled against the Trump administration’s various immigration policies. By contrast, half (15 out of 28) of Republican-appointed judges backed the administration and half (13 out of 28) did not. The report also found that most (90%) of the Democratic-appointed judges backed the Affordable Care Act, while most (80%) of the Republican-nominated judges found fault with the 2010 law.
I believe that a major campaign issue for 2020 will be who will appoint federal judges. Both sides of the political aisle can see what this president has done in the last few years.