President Trump’s nominations to the federal courts have flipped three circuits making them majority Republican-appointed, lowered the age of GOP-appointed judges by 14 years, and reshaped the judiciary for decades to come, according to a series of new reports.
When Trump took office in January 2017, only four of the 13 U.S. appeals courts had a majority of Republican-appointed judges. Today, seven of the 13 appeals courts do.
This year alone, the Second, Third and 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have flipped from majority Democratic-nominated to majority Republican-nominated, according to Law.com.
All total, 187 Trump-appointed federal judges have been confirmed by the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate.
“America’s courts are critical to the preservation of religious liberty – and one of the greatest legacies for our first freedom has been the appointment of one of the youngest classes of conservative, textualist judges who will be on the court for the next 30 or even 40 years,” read an analysis by First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty legal organization that supports Trump’s nominations.
“The excellent judges being confirmed for lifetime appointments right now will help safeguard religious liberty for our children and grandchildren. It will be the next generation who will reclaim and reap the benefits as they are set free to enjoy more religious freedom than ever before.”
The First Liberty analysis said that during Trump’s first term, the average age of Democratic-appointed judges has increased from 61 to 63 years old, while the average age of Republican-appointed judges has decreased from 71 to 57 years old. (First Liberty labeled them “liberal-appointed” and “conservative-appointed.”)
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said Trump’s judicial nominations are different from those of past Republican presidents. Liberty Counsel is a religious liberty legal group that supports Trump’s judicial nominations.
“This is a historic time in our nation when President Trump has appointed more judicial nominees, including two justices to the High Court, than any other president,” Staver said. “Unlike prior Republican presidents who nominated some judges that were judicial activists, President Trump has consistently nominated people who are committed to originalism. Judges who interpret the law according to the Constitution are critical for maintaining the rule of law and the proper balance of the three branches of government. President Trump is already creating a legacy that will last for decades.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Spencer Platt/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.