Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Senate Is Giving Trump Loyalist Judges to Shield Him From the Law

Voters were warned before the 2016 election about the fact that more than 100 lifetime judge positions, including one on the supreme court, were open because they had been blocked by the republican Congress. Enough chose to ignore this and vote for third party candidates that Trump was able to win the electoral college vote. And they knew from GW Bush's first election that it was very feasible for someone to lose the popular vote but win the electoral college vote.

By Dahlia Lithwick
May 17, 20193:25 PM

President Donald Trump seated his 40th circuit court appointee this week. It is the continuation of a long, slow march toward a judiciary made largely in the image of the most extreme elements of the Republican Party, e.g., the present-day Republican Party. The consequences of this march are profound beyond most Americans’ current comprehension.

Kenneth Lee was confirmed on Wednesday, along a party-line vote, to the Ninth Circuit. The vote came despite the fact that neither of his home state senators returned a blue slip on his nomination, making him the fifth circuit court judge confirmed this year with zero blue slip approval. It’s safe to say there is no “blue slip” process anymore for circuit court judges, an extraordinary shift that has accelerated the radicalization of the federal bench. Before this year, no circuit court judge had been elevated without the approval of at least one home state senator. Respecting the veto of home state senators is part of the reason President Barack Obama left office with so many judicial vacancies, many of which have been subsequently filled by Trump with the most radical contenders he could plausibly push through.


He’s after all just one of 27 Trump judicial nominees who have declined to endorse the landmark ruling declaring school segregation unconstitutional, a commitment Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh had no trouble making at their own hearings.


Not only has Trump broken records in filling judicial vacancies, but he is also on track to fill every vacancy left on the federal circuit courts


If you think that these judges will not act to protect their president, think about how they got their jobs. They are the types of nominees who would hide their most biased and grotesque thoughts and words and then insist when discovered that they were just kidding around. The fact that Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are seating judges willing to do or say anything to protect their careers should scare us almost more than anything else. These are the people who will be willing to do or say anything to protect the president who nominated them when the time comes.


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