President Donald Trump is quietly restoring constitutional governance with his court picks. As Cato Institute, Ilya Shapiro reminds readers, federal judgeships are for life.
The most notable success here is Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Those who hoped for another smooth-writing originalist to replace Antonin Scalia got what they wanted.
As of Nov. 20, Trump had made 58 nominations — more than double Obama at this point — and confirmed 14 judges, including eight to the circuit level.
Moreover, the alignment we’ve gotten used to, with four liberals, four conservatives and a “swing” vote is on its last legs. Whenever Justice Anthony Kennedy (age 81) retires — discount any rumors you hear from anyone but him or his wife — and whenever Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (85) departs, the court will move right, with Chief Justice John Roberts at its center.
How could this have happened? Democrats need not look any further than their own party. In 2013, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) eliminated the filibuster for executive branch appointments and lower-court nominees. “By forcing Senate Republicans to eliminate the filibuster for high-court nominees, the Democrats destroyed any leverage they may have had in future.”
Read more from Ilya Shapiro here.