While all eyes were on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the president has quietly flipped two federal court circuits — and it looks like two more are on the way.
Trump’s first big court win came from his appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch. Many conservatives were thrilled; many liberals were not. Both sides were very loud about it, though. Now, the same thing is happening for nominee, Judge Kavanaugh.
While the nation’s attention was on the Supreme Court, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quietly have cranked out dozens of conservative judges to fill in the lower courts, and there are more on the way.
In fact, on Tuesday the Senate will be voting on seven more Trump-appointed judges to fill vacancies at various levels of the federal court system.
And here it is: Senate just cut a deal to fast-track votes starting at 3:45p today on 11 nominations—including SEVEN Trump nominees to be district court judges. pic.twitter.com/3C9KiNcqSA
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) August 28, 2018
Trump has replaced 24 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals in his first congressional term, according to the New York Times. To compare, former President Barack Obama only approved 15 judges in his first congressional term.
These 24 judges that Trump appointed have flipped two courts from liberal to conservative — the Sixth and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Sixth Circuit Court covers parts of Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, and Ohio. The Seventh Circuit Court covers parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
But those two courts might not be the only two circuit courts that Trump flips. Two other courts, the Eighth and the Eleventh, may flip as well.
The Trump administration also focused on placing conservative justices on the typically-liberal courts, like the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, to ensure that there are dissenting opinions to increase the likelihood that the Supreme Court will review their rulings.
Between Justice Gorsuch, the likely appointment of Judge Kavanaugh, and the dozens of judges they have approved to fill in the lower courts, Trump and McConnell have shaped the judiciary for a generation — and it’s only the president’s first congressional term.