Trump’s conservative judges begin takeover of federal appeals courts ,
One of President Donald Trump’s biggest achievements since entering the White House – making the federal courts more conservative – crossed a major threshold Tuesday.
For the first time, he turned a federal appeals court previously dominated by Democratic presidents’ nominees into one with a majority of Republican presidents’ choices.
Senate confirmation of Paul Matey to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, with jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, gave Trump and his GOP predecessors in the White House a 7-6 majority there. The Senate vote was 54-45, largely along party lines.
The president’s goal of remaking the federal judiciary began in January 2017 with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch’s confirmation and that of Brett Kavanaugh last October have made the nation’s highest court more conservative.
The Senate also was poised to move further ahead Tuesday with the controversial nomination of Neomi Rao to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the nation’s second-most powerful tribunal. A final vote could occur later this week.
Rao, a potential future Supreme Court nominee, has drawn criticism for her actions as Trump’s “regulatory czar,” her lack of trial experience and, in particular, college-era writings that appeared to blame women along with men for date rape.
Trump’s 90 confirmed judges also have drawn criticism from Democrats and liberal interest groups because they are overwhelmingly white (92%) and male (76%).
“The Third Circuit Is only the first of several circuit courts of appeal that are likely to flip from majority Democrat-appointed to majority Republican-appointed during Trump’s presidency,”
Said Elliot Mincberg, senior fellow at People for the American Way, a liberal group that has opposed most of his nominees.