Good News: Trump Making Stellar Judicial Nominations.
While detractors detract and defenders defend and a few intrepid souls try to call ‘em as they see ‘em, President Trump is keeping one campaign promise spectacularly: appointing highly qualified Constitutionalists to the federal bench. The libertarian publication Reason notes Trump’s nominees are getting excellent reviews from both conservative and libertarian scholars.
Case Western Reserve University’s Jonathon Adler, a noted libertarian law professor and active litigator for limited government, calls Trump’s early nominations “incredibly strong” and predicts they will have an intellectual impact on their respective appellate courts. Adler was quoted in a New York Times article that noted warily Trump was assembling his selections with the help of the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
Paul Mirengoff of the influential Power Line Blog comments that on judicial nominations, Trump keeps winning. Mirengoff cites the appointments of Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, distinguished litigator James Ho, Kyle Duncan, and federal trial judge Kurt Engelhardt. Mirengoff pays particular notice to Engelhardt, who “wrote a scathing 129-page order denouncing the misconduct of lawyers at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the local New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s Office in a prosecution of New Orleans police officers. As Christian Adams says, Judge Engelhardt’s order ‘offers a look behind the curtain of some of the worst ideological misconduct that occurred at the Obama DOJ.’”
Here in Colorado, respected Supreme Court Justice and law professor Allison Eid received Trump’s nod for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. She cleared the judiciary committee last week, and advances to the full Senate. Eid faced united but mostly ineffectual opposition from Democrats on the committee.
Trump’s string of excellent appointments is good news for a few reasons. First and foremost, it will increase the critical mass of Constitutionalists who eschew leftist policy making from the bench, but also protect against the government trampling important rights and liberties that are clearly identified in the Constitution.
Moreover, there was nothing in Trump’s background to inspire confidence he’d select judges of this bent and caliber. Many believed he was making meaningless promises to mollify conservatives that would be forgotten as soon as he took office. The Gorsuch nomination to the high court suggested otherwise. The roster of strong lower court nominations give further indication Trump meant it. That is good news for believers in limited government and independent checks and balances.