Math Matters This Election: Don’t Forget The Federal Judiciary


Chuck Warren Contributor
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“The impact that the president can have on the federal judiciary is perhaps the single most important legacy issue for any president,” says Doug Kendall, president of Constitutional Accountability Center, according to USA Today.

With early votes being cast and Election Day a month away, many voters are undecided or persuadable. Yes, many are at the “flip of a coin stage.” Some asking; what does a voter do when presidential options appear so distasteful.

Get over it and consider; as of September 1, 2016, of 673 U.S. District Court judgeships 67 – or 10 percent stand vacant under President Obama. Twice as many as at this point under George W. Bush.

It’s time to begin asking the question involving more than just the Supreme Court; ask yourself what will happen to the landscape of the courts if Candidate X is in office the next 4 years?

The answers might be hypothetical, but we can make good assumptions about what particular policies or appointments will look like for the next four years in one of the choices confronting this nation.

Starting with the assumption of federal judges, knowing the Supreme Court majority is at stake, what is being recklessly bypassed is the federal bench like Appellate judges.

As of September 13, 2016 Obama Federal nominees to be confirmed by the US Senate stands at 329.

  • 2 Supreme Court
  • 55 judges US court of Appeals
  • 268 US District Courts
  • 4 US Court of International Trade

USA Today in November 2013 and The Washington Post in June reported vacancies to the appellates were reaching levels not seen in decades. In fact, USA Today reported lining the federal bench with judges who enjoy lifetime tenure is “one of the most significant perks of the presidency.”

It is noteworthy at the nation’s 13 appeals courts, 10 of which had a majority of GOP appointees by the end of George W. Bush, now see judges named by Democrat presidents, seven appeals courts with two more split down the middle.

As of May all but one of the 12 DC judges were Democratic appointees. Nine named by Obama and confirmed since 2010. These federal courts, set precedents in areas ranging from national security, economic regulation, abortion, immigration, voting rights, affirmative action, gun control, gay marriage, email access of a particular candidate, and executive actions.

Today we are facing more than 10 percent vacancy of the Federal appeal’s courts and judgeships because of age; it’s time to look logically and do the math! Facing 10% vacancy, if Hillary Clinton is elected the impact on the judiciary – not just the Supreme Court will be tremendous for the next two to three decades! Just ask Senators Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz.

“At this point,” says Curt Levey, president of conservative committee for justice, “there would be very few Republicans left on the courts.”

Nominations to consider as you vote:

  • 1 Supreme Court
  • 12 Vacating courts of appeal
  • 75 Vacating US district courts
  • 14 will be vacating federal judiciary before Obama’s term ends

Hillary’s activist and liberal judges will fall in line with the agenda of those placed by Obama.

You don’t have to love Trump, but fair assumption is 7 out of 10 times he gets a strict constitutionalist – not an activist in these Appellate and District Courts.

So back to the question posed – are you willing to role the dice on a President Clinton who will appoint 0% conservative, non-activists federal judges, or roll the dice on President Trump who worst case scenario gets it right 70% of the time?