However you might rate President Trump on his accomplishments to date or lack thereof and whether or not he is re-elected, there is very little doubt that over the past three and a half years he has to a large extent solidified the federal judiciary across the board in the hands of the “textualist” and “originalist” principles espoused by the Federalist Society for at least a generation and probably more. Just look at the numbers: well beyond his two Supreme Court appointees, he has appointed a total of 200 life-tenured judges under Article III of the Constitution, including 53 judges appointed to the courts of appeal, and has left no vacancies. These appellant courts are the second highest courts in the country and it is with them that the vast majority of appeals are resolved, and in Trump’s term three of these circuits have been reversed to majorities appointed by Republican presidents. Compare these numbers with the 55 total federal appeal court judges appointed by his predecessor Barrack Obama in eight years to get a better idea of the relative impact, particularly if he is re-elected. True, there have been disappointments in several key Supreme Court decisions, primarily involving decisive majority votes by Bush 43 appointee “Mr. Institutionalist”, Chief Justice Roberts, but Trump’s legacy here is undeniable and bodes well for the rule of law even in the event of loss of control of the White House and the legislative branch to the Democrats. And, not so incidentally, much of the credit for this outcome is due to the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his mastery of the confirmation process.
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