Two and a half years in, what stands out about Trump’s confirmed judges isn’t just the quantity, which is remarkable ― two Supreme Court justices, a record-breaking 43 appeals court judges and 99 district court judges.
It’s that a chunk of his judges shouldn’t be on the bench at all because they aren’t qualified or they’re so ideologically extreme that it’s next to impossible to imagine them as fair arbiters of justice. These judges are now on federal courts at every level, from the Supreme Court to appeals courts, which have the final say in nearly all federal cases, down to district courts, where these cases are first filed. For the appeals court judges in particular, the decisions these people make will affect you and millions of other people for generations.
“It is important for the public to appreciate that appeals court appointees serve on courts that are the courts of last resort for 99.9% of cases in their regions of the U.S. on issues like capital punishment, abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, etc.,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor and an expert on federal judicial nominations. “The key is they resolve 50,000 cases per year and the Supreme Court resolves 100.”
Here’s a snapshot of Trump’s most alarming judges to date. Incredibly, all but one (Wendy Vitter) is or was a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative lawyers’ group that has effectively been picking Trump’s judicial nominees for him. There is a clear theme to these judges, too: They have records of being anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion and anti-voting rights.
Awwwwww, pobrecita. Elections have consequences.
The Left is pissed because they are the only ones who are allowed to pack the courts with extreme ideologues. How many times in the past two and a half years has an Obama or Clinton-appointed judge placed a nationwide injunction on the Trump administration? In one case a judge said that Trump could not use an executive order to rescind the DACA policy enacted by an Obama executive order.
The Left has a problem. Their ideas are unpopular and they only control one house of Congress. At times like these, they love the courts. They don’t just file lawsuits to block Trump from keeping his campaign promises, they want activist Leftist judges to “legislate from the bench.” That’s how they got abortion and SSM made legal.
But Trump and Cocaine Mitch are packing the courts with stinky rightwingers. Boo-fucking-hoo. It wasn’t the GOP who decided to weaponize our courts.
Here is what Bendery had to say about three of Trump’s nominees:
Kavanaugh repeatedly lied under oath in his Senate confirmation hearing and, alternating between crying, yelling and interrupting Senate committee members as they pressed him on credible sexual assault allegations against him, he blamed his rocky confirmation process on politics. Kavanaugh’s unhinged behavior raised fresh questions about his temperament to be a justice on the nation’s highest court. As Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) concluded in opposing him, he failed to meet the standard spelled out in the Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 1.2, which states that a judge must “act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.”
The American Bar Association was prepared to revisit its previous “well qualified” rating of Kavanaugh after his disastrous hearing, but Senate Republicans went ahead and confirmed him, so the group let it go. Every Republican but one, Murkowski, voted to confirm him.
Amy Coney Barrett:
Barrett has suggested Roe v. Wade was an “erroneous decision” and called the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit “an assault on religious liberty.” She is on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court picks, which Trump said only includes people willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. The former Notre Dame law professor also sparked questions about her membership in a tightly knit Christian group called People of Praise, in which members swear a lifelong oath of loyalty and are accountable to a personal adviser ― called a “head” for men and a “handmaid” for women ― and are taught that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family. Every Senate Republican voted to confirm her.
The former Texas Supreme Court Justice consistently ruled against same-sex marriage rights, including a June 2017 ruling that same-sex spouses of Houston city workers have no inherent right to benefits under Obergefell v. Hodges, the federal marriage equality ruling. Willett also mocked a California law relating to transgender students’ participation in school sports. He has bragged that “there is no ideological daylight to the right of me,” and in his 2012 judicial election, he was endorsed by rabidly anti-LGBTQ advocates including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and Christian revisionist historian David Barton. Willett is on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court picks, which Trump said only includes people willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. Every Senate Republican voted to confirm him.
Barrett is probably gonna be the replacement for the Notorious RBG. Willett was a hoot on Twitter before he was nominated and had to close down his account. And we all watched the Kavanaugh hearings. After reading what Bendery had to say about these three, I don’t have to read what she says about the others.
BTW: Of course these judges were confirmed by unanimous or near-unanimous Republican support in the Senate. That’s because the Democrats were united against them.