A Trump Presidency’s Cost to the Courts


Tuesday’s historic elections results have Americans reeling. Many are having to consider the unthinkable: Will the wall actually be built? Is climate change a forgotten imminent threat? What is the future of gun control? Do I still have a place in this country?

Trump’s policies are notorious and well-known. But what his presidency means for the American judicial system is not. You can read about his proposed direction for the U.S. Constitution here. His plan is both vague and idealistic, however there is one resounding message. With a Trump presidency, the second amendment is here to stay.

Trump’s administration will have unprecedented opportunities to shape and choose the leaders of the law for decades to come. He has signalled that he will look to appoint a 9th Supreme Court justice that has similar values to that of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. This is unsurprising and will cause the balance of power to tip 5-4, for a decidedly conservative judiciary.

Mr. Trump will have the opportunity to appoint 16 federal court of appeal justices upon his official inauguration in January 2017. His page pledges to “Nominate United Stated Supreme Court justices that will abide by the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States that includes upholding the second amendment.”

But it doesn’t end there, vacancies are expected to increase throughout his presidency as fourty-eight federal appellate judges are considered to be at “senior status” and could take their leave at any time. This number will likely grow, as there is a historic trend of judges to take their leave once their appointing party is no longer in power. These combined realities create a remarkable opportunity for the President-elect Trump to ensure a strong republican judicial representation on benches across the nation.

One thing is for certain. In these tumultuous times, we can all be thankful for the Notorious RBG.

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.