Sen. Ted Cruz R-Texas, speaks to the media during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Earlier, I posted about President Trump’s call for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to recuse herself from any future cases involving his administration after reading the scathing dissent she wrote last Friday. She accused her colleagues of bias and the federal government of seeking stays “in an unprecedented cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited court resources by claiming one emergency after another.”
In a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting today, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) destroyed Sotomayor’s dissent in two minutes and even came up with an appropriate, and quite creative, metaphor. He said:
If you look at the facts of what’s happening with nationwide injunctions, I think it will explain why the DOJ has had to ask the Supreme Court to intervene over and over and over again.
Nearly one-third of the nationwide injunctions issued against the Trump Administration have come from courts in the state of California. Two-thirds of the states, their district courts have issued a total of zero nationwide injunctions. So you have a handful of courts that are driving this problem.
Cruz offered some perspective by comparing the number of nationwide injunctions issued during previous administrations:
12 issued in 8 years of Bush Administration (1.5 per year)
19 issued in 8 years of Obama Administration (2.4 per year)
55 issued in 3 years of Trump Administration (18.3 per year)
I have to say it. Can you imagine if 55 nationwide injunctions had been issued in the first three years of the Obama Administration?
I believe we have a handful of judges who are operating effectively as part of the Resistance Movement, trying to put themselves in the way of Trump policies they happen to disagree with. And so I have to say I read Justice Sotomayor’s complaint about, ‘gosh, we’re getting all these emergency appeals of the Supreme Court.’ I read it a little bit like an arsonist complaining about the noise from the fire trucks. The reason there is so many appeals is you’ve had fifty-five nationwide injunctions from far too many judges who are not honoring their oath. They’re not following the law. Instead they’re operating as partisan political activists.
Thanks Senator! That pretty much takes care of Sotomayor’s dissent.
The good news in the last three years is that, according to The Washington Post, one out of every four U.S. circuit court judges is a Trump nominee. Thirteen district court judges are Trump nominees. And two Supreme Court Justices are Trump nominees. That’s total of 187 U.S. judges. And with one year left in his first term, that number is sure to climb.
If the President wins re-election, which is more likely than not, and Republicans can keep their Senate majority, another 200+ judges could be replaced with Trump nominees and hopefully, one of those will be Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This would be the dream scenario and if it ever came to pass, it’s impact would be felt for years to come.
The Post’s Colby Itcowitz explains how the injection of so many conservative judges has already had an effect on the country. A positive effect if you’re a Trump supporter.
Trump’s mark on the judiciary is already having far-reaching effects on legislation and liberal priorities. Just last week, the 5th Circuit struck down a core provision of the Affordable Care Act. One of the two appellate judges who ruled against the landmark law was a Trump appointee.
The Supreme Court — where two of the nine justices are conservatives selected by Trump — could eventually hear that case.
The 13 circuit courts are the second most powerful in the nation, serving as a last stop for appeals on lower court rulings, unless the case is taken up by the Supreme Court. So far, Trump has appointed 50 judges to circuit court benches. Comparatively, by this point in President Obama’s first term, he had confirmed 25. At the end of his eight years, he had appointed 55 circuit judges.
Trump’s appointments have flipped three circuit courts to majority GOP-appointed judges, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York. The president has also selected younger conservatives for these lifetime appointments, ensuring his impact is felt for many years.
The executor of this aggressive push is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is almost singularly focused on reshaping the federal judiciary, twice ramming through Senate rule changes to speed up confirmations over Democrats’ objections.
Most Americans don’t pay a great deal of attention to the political composition of the U.S. judiciary. However, as we have witnessed in the era of Trump, even though judges are appointed rather than elected, their influence can be great.
Watch the video.
It's clear there are a handful of activist district judges trying to stop @realDonaldTrump's policies. Just look at the number of universal injunctions issued:
12 issued in 8 yrs of Bush Admin
19 issued in 8 yrs of Obama Admin
55 issued in just 3 yrs of Trump Admin pic.twitter.com/uboYjB8Wxh
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) February 25, 2020