11.08.2018 0

Judges, Judges, and more Judges!

By Donald Wilfong

With Tuesday night’s huge Senate win, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) has to be overjoyed as an increased margin in the Senate means more and more conservative judges confirmed during the 116th Session of Congress. This influx of as many as three new Republican Senators on a net basis, is due in large part to the gross mistreatment of Justice Brett Kavanagh during his confirmation hearings.

People all across America, saw the mob for what it was, an incoherent, belligerent, large gathering of people on the left bound and determined to keep an excellent candidate off of the Supreme Court. Those Republicans who stood up for Justice Kavanagh were rewarded by the people in retaining their seats, while Senators like Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) were voted out of office for their silence.

With these extra votes in the Senate, confirming more judges will surely be an easier task during the next two years.  As this is one of the staples of his agenda during the past two years was to reshape our courts by confirming judges who believe in our Constitution like the Founding Fathers intended, as written. With the extra votes in the Senate, this will surely be an easier task during the next two years.

Most Americans, only pay attention to the large production of a confirmation process conducted for Supreme Court Nominees. While the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch and Kavanagh are great victories for conservatives, the real winning is done in the lower court confirmations, and the frequency might be a shock to some people.

These confirmations battles typically go under everyone’s radar as the sheer number of confirmations totaled 84 during the 115th Session of Congress,  Just to put this in perspective, in one day, on Oct. 11, 2018 the Senate confirmed fifteen different Judges to District and Circuit Courts around the nation according to The United States Courts. With another two years of a Republican President nominating Judges and a Republican Senate cranking out their judicial confirmations, the total number of 84 will only be increased. Since 1952, presidents have averaged about 163 judges confirmed per term, and Trump is well on his way to surpassing that mark.

There are so many that most mainstream media outlets don’t give this phenomenon the proper attention it deserves. These lower court nominations are a line of defense when it comes to federal cases reaching the Supreme Court and should captivate audiences everywhere as it has a direct impact in our society.

Take President Trump’s travel nan for example, when he issued the Executive Order in 2017 to restrict travel to seven countries, a lower court, President Obama appointed Judge, struck it down. Finally the issue was brought before the Supreme Court and ultimately the travel ban was upheld in 2018.

These individual lower court Judges matter in determining what makes it to the Supreme Court and how long we need to wait for certain policies to be enacted. Think about how long this issue of the Travel Ban dragged on for months and months, an effective judicial blockade. With every judge confirmed, McConnell is protecting future policies directed by President Trump and future presidents, as well as installing a safe guard against any presidents that overstep their bounds.

Whenever the Republicans eventually lose the majority or Senator McConnell retires, his acts through the 115th & 116th sessions of Congress will be remembered by the number of judges confirmed. A task which unfortunately not too many people outside of Washington, D.C. will understand or appreciate.

To that end, McConnell should consider ending the 30-hour rule requiring specific hours of debate for each nominee when the Senate lacks unanimous consent. Let the President get the judges he wants expedited.

So even if the next opportunity to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice does not present itself during this next Session of Congress, we can all rest assured knowing that Senate Republicans and specifically Majority Leader McConnell are working diligently to continue the on-going project of re-shaping our courts for decades to come.

Donald Wilfong is the development officer at Americans for Limited Government.

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