Although it may not be one of the flashier or more talked-about powers that President Donald Trump has, one of his most important jobs is to appoint federal judges. These judges represent the federal government in various matters, and even recommend cases to the United States Supreme Court.
This week, President Trump managed to pass another four judicial nominations, who will help to protect the constitution from activist judges in lower, state-run courts. This brings his running total up to 21 judges confirmed. That number would likely be higher, but democrats insist on obstructing nominations for politically partisan reasons. Hopefully, that situation improves after the 2018 midterm elections.
The first two judges who were confirmed this week went to Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers republican-leaning Indiana, democrat-leaning Illinois (where many cases concerning firearm rights come from), and somewhat-moderate Wisconsin.
Both judges, Michael Scudder and Amy St. Eve, were confirmed with unanimous votes on Monday. This is, in part, because they were selected in a consultation with Illinois Democrat Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.
Scudder was a partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, where he concentrated on commercial litigation and white-collar crime. As these types of cases are generally federal due to their very nature, this experience will likely serve him well on the Seventh Circuit Court.
With these two successfully-confirmed appointments, President Trump has now selected four of the 11 judges on the Seventh Circuit.
On Tuesday, the president managed to confirm another two judges.
Carson has worked as a part-time federal magistrate, while also holding a position as a partner at the law firm of Carson Ryan LLC. In his private practice, he specialized in energy, oil, and gas law, as well as applicable regulatory issues.
He was confirmed by a 77-21 vote.
Nalbandian is likely the most well-known attorney of the four. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia, and received it with the Order of the Coif honor.
Later, he moved to practice law in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked at one of the oldest law firms in the nation, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He worked there until he confirmed to the Sixth Circuit Court, and even rose to become partner.
While at Taft, he was appointed by the Governor of Kentucky, Ernie Fletcher, to serve as a ‘Special Justice’ for the Kentucky Supreme Court. In 2010, former president Barack Obama nominated him (and the Senate confirmed him) to be a board member of the State Justice Institute.
He achieved fame when he defended the state of Indiana’s Voter ID laws in the case Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. He also represented Ohio election officials in Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Husted, where he worked against a ‘consent decree’ that many in Ohio believed made voter fraud in the state much easier.
Due to his steadfast defense of laws that protected the sanctity of the American voting system, various leftist organizations attempted to fight against Nalbandian’s confirmation. Due to this, he was nominated by a slim margin, with a vote of 52-43.
Though they may not get the same attention as the United States Supreme Court, federal courts are important, especially in states where the local government refuses to respect citizens’ rights.
Federal courts, removed from the pressure of local politics, can take principled stands against illegal and unconstitutional actions by state and local governments.
For example, there are currently at least FOUR vacancies on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sometimes known as the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals due to their astonishingly left-wing decisions and the fact that the court’s decisions are often overturned on review.
Federal judicial appointments to Circuit Courts are especially important to those concerned with the Second Amendment. As Justice Clarence Thomas said, the Second Amendment appears to be the Supreme Court’s ‘orphaned’ amendment, one that the leftists on the court are not interested in hearing cases about.
This means that the decisions of lower federal courts are often the last word on gun rights issues.
Hopefully, President Trump’s nominees can restore sanity to the federal courts, and begin undoing the damage done by Obama-era appointees.