2020 Dems Facing Pressure to Explain How They’d Reshape Courts as Trump Has

Christmas Eve, President Trump tweeted:

187 new Federal Judges have been confirmed under the Trump Administration, including two great new United States Supreme Court Justices. We are shattering every record! Read all about this in “The Long Game,” a great new book by @senatemajldr Mitch McConnell. Amazing story!

There is no disputing President Trump has transformed the nation’s courts.

Now 2020 Democrats are under intense pressure to explain how they’d do the same.

The Hill reports Democratic presidential contenders are facing increasing pressure to detail their plans for filling federal court vacancies amid angst over President Trump‘s success in packing the benches with conservative judges.

Trump has been able to get his appointees confirmed at a pace that surpasses that of any recent administration. The Senate left town the week before Christmas after confirming 12 more of Trump’s judicial appointees, bringing the total number of lifetime judges appointed in this administration to 187.

For many on the left, the issue of recapturing the courts has become more urgent as those judges make their mark on a host of high-profile issues.

Last week, a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a key tenet of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance, is unconstitutional, setting up a likely fight in the Supreme Court. One of the judges who joined the ruling, Kurt Engelhardt, was appointed by Trump in 2018.

“Because of a Trump-appointed judge who cast the deciding vote in that ruling, health care is at risk for millions of Americans,” Marge Baker, executive vice president at the liberal group People for the American Way, said in a statement on Thursday.

“The next president faces a monumental task in ensuring that the people appointed to our federal bench are fair-minded constitutionalists who understand their role is to uphold rights for all of us, not to serve the agendas of big corporations and far-right special interests,” Baker added.

Most notably, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have already shifted the nation’s highest court to the right with two appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Those moves gave the Supreme Court a conservative majority in a term with expected rulings on Obama-era programs like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well as cases involving hot-button issues like gun control, LGBT workplace rights and abortion.