Trump packed the courts with 226 life-tenured judges — and they're already creating chaos: report

Trump packed the courts with 226 life-tenured judges — and they're already creating chaos: report
Amy Coney Barrett with Donald Trump on September 26, 2020, Wikimedia Commons

According to a report from Rolling Stone's Jay Michaelson, Donald Trump may be gone -- for the moment --but his legacy of running roughshod over settled law and general disruption of norms will go on for generations because he managed to pack the courts with 226 judges who will sit in judgment for decades due to lifetime appointments.

As Michaelson pointed out, while the focus is most often on Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, it is at the lower federal court level where he has changed the course of jurisprudence for years and years.

According to the report, a substantial percentage have a great deal in common in that they are most likely to be white and male to a highly disproportionate degree.

"For a start, they’re 84 percent white and 76 percent male, well out of proportion to the population, which is 58 percent non-Hispanic white, and 50 percent male. (At the appellate-court level, the slant is even greater: 43 of Trump’s 54 appointees are men,) he wrote before commenting, "Keep that in mind the next time a court decides something about women’s rights to control their bodies."

Worse still, he adds, is the fact that the former president's picks -- with the able assistance of far-right conservative organizations like the Federalist Society and now- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) -- are not the best of the best.

According to Michaelson, "They were, statistically speaking, remarkably less qualified than usual. In four years of Trump, the nonpartisan, nonpolitical American Bar Association rated 10 of his nominees as 'not qualified,' something they’d done only 12 times in the previous 27 years. (True to form, Republicans have attacked the American Bar Association itself,") adding that there are plenty who are qualified even if their views are outside the mainstream.

Speaking with the journalist, Lena Zwarensteyn of Fair Courts Program of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, claimed the picks were designed for maximum and enduring effectiveness.

“The plan was to put on as many folks who have an extreme ideology as possible,” she stated. "This is a very long-term project that a very narrow extreme group has had, largely in response to the civil rights movement integrating communities and schools. It is a systemic plan to roll back progress we have made on civil and human rights.”

Even more alarming, Michaelson reports, "Trump’s minions chose the youngest cohort of judges in recorded history, some of these people are in their thirties and forties. That means they could still be on the bench in 40, even 50 years."

Reflecting on reports that the Supreme Court will soon hand down a ruling that will all but eviscerate the landmark Roe v Wade protections for women seeking an abortion, Michaelson said Trump's judges will be doing their work under less scrutiny until their decisions are published and then possibly upheld by other conservative justices higher up the legal ladder.

"The thing to understand here is that while big cases like Dobbs and Roe come along once every few years, every day there are incremental cases that either bolster or erode our civil rights. Just as progress is gained one small step at a time, it is lost the same way," he wrote before warning, "The advance of Christian nationalism is a steady drip-drip-drip, eroding rights a little bit at a time, by judges we don’t hear much about until it is too late."

You can read more here including examples of Trump-appointed judges who have already handed down controversial rulings during their brief time on the bench.

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