Never Trumpers, nervous suburban Republican women, and others on the wobbly Right focus too much on the boiled cauliflower of President Donald J. Trump’s sometimes unappetizing style and too little on the sizzling New York Strip steak that is his hefty list of public-policy accomplishments.
This may be most true regarding Trump’s appointment of constitutionalist, Federalist Society-approved judges to the federal bench. His powerful tax cuts and monumental deregulation aside, Trump’s sometimes jarring Twitter blasts seem like a reasonable price to pay for his staggeringly positive impact on the federal judiciary.
As of last Wednesday, Trump had named and shepherded through the Senate, U.S. Supreme Court justices Neal Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, 44 circuit court judges, and 112 district court judges. These 158 federal judges — more at this point in a presidency than anyone can recall — will have a long-term, highly salutary influence on jurisprudence and American society as a whole.
But wait, there’s more.
These roughly 25 percent of appellate-court judges are changing the ideological make-up of court jurisdictions across America. The Third Circuit has shifted from dominance by Democrat-nominated judges to GOP-named magistrates. According to the White House Press Office, “The Second and Eleventh Circuits are likely to flip by the end of this year.” Even the notorious, San Francisco-based “Ninth Circus” is changing its philosophical complexion. As the number of Trump-nominated judges on the Ninth Circuit increases, the chances of successfully “judge shopping” to find a pliable Leftist jurist there have diminished. Conversely, the higher number of conservative judges in that sun-splashed, Gilded Age courthouse has boosted the odds that a three-judge panel will contain not zero or one GOP-nominated judges, but a two-seat majority. This scenario bordered on fantasy just three years ago. This good news offers a strong argument against breaking up the Ninth Circuit, now that it more closely resembles an instrument of justice rather than intermission at Cirque du Soleil.
Trump carefully has selected relatively young judges. His average nominee has yet to reach age 50. Obama’s judges typically pushed 60. These jurists most likely will issue center-Right decisions for decades. In fact, according to the White House, “Judges appointed by President Trump are expected to give the Nation more than 2,600 years of combined judicial service.”
And the best is yet to come: The GOP Senate is expected to confirm more judges in 2019 than in 2017 and 2018 combined.
“These distinguished men and women are some of the most gifted scholars, respected jurists, and finest legal minds ever placed on the federal bench,” President Trump said Wednesday at the White House. “Together, we are restoring American freedom, defending American justice, and preserving the extraordinary vision of our Founding Fathers.”
Remember this the next time some finger-biting Republican moans about President Donald J. Trump: “I don’t like his tone.”
New York political commentor Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.