May 6, 2021
Every Presidential election cycle, I remind my readers that, irrespective of one’s political leanings, the single-most important issue in a Presidential campaign is judicial appointments. A Presidential term lasts four years; federal judicial appointments last a lifetime.
This article in the Atlantic makes the point more saliently than I can: While the Trump presidency ended in January, the Trump era in the federal judiciary is only beginning.
In his four years in office, President Trump appointed 234 federal judges, including 54 appellate judges, about one out of every three. By contrast, in his first year if office, President Obama appointed 172 judges (30 of them appellate), while President George W. Bush managed 204 (35 appellate).
But that’s not the end of the story. Trump’s impact will be far greater than that. That’s because, the article tells us, “his judges won’t reach the apogee of their power until the early 2040s, when Trump-appointed chief judges are on track to simultaneously sit atop nearly every appeals court in the country.”
I’ll remind you of this again in November of 2024.