When Barack Obama left the White House, he figured his legacy was secure.
But Obama thought wrong.
That’s because Neil Gorsuch was part of a victory that left Barack Obama at a loss for words.
When Donald Trump ran in 2016, many saw filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia’s tragic death as the decisive issue.
Voters who rated the Supreme Court as their number one issue broke decisively for Trump.
Conservatives – even those with some doubts about Trump’s ideology or conduct – came home after Trump promised to only appoint pro-life conservatives to the Supreme Court.
And President Trump made good on that promise by seeing Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2017.
But filling Supreme Court vacancies was just the tip of the iceberg.
Donald Trump had loads of lower court appointments to fill.
And just recently, the Senate confirmed President Trump’s 100th judicial nominee.
Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network – which strongly supports President Trump’s judicial nominees – praised the move.
“Today marks an incredible milestone as the Senate confirmed President Trump’s 100th judicial nominee,” Severino declared.
“This is a big win for the country to have judges who fairly apply the law and adhere to the Constitution sitting on our nation’s most prized courts.”
Republicans confirmed 37 judges to the nation’s 12 Circuit Court of Appeals.
That is twice as many as Barack Obama saw confirmed at a similar point in his Presidency.
Republicans have already “flipped” control of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals – which covers Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands – to a majority of Republican appointees.
The GOP also has the chance to turn the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to majority Republican appointees by filling one more vacancy.
These are significant achievements, as Circuit Courts tend to be the final word on many cases.
“The Supreme Court gets the bulk of the attention, but the circuit courts decide the bulk of the cases,” University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur D. Hellman told The Washington Post in an interview.
“Because the Supreme Court these days is taking so few cases, the law of the circuit is, on many, many issues, the final law for the people who live in that circuit.”
This is due to the fact that the Supreme Court only hears a limited number of cases each year.
Democrats have utilized the courts to stymie Donald Trump’s agenda by having lower level judges grant nationwide injunctions blocking his executive orders.
With 63 district court judges now in place, the President can limit the ability of Democrats to “judge shop” for a liberal activist who will deliver a favorable ruling.
In addition, the impact of Trump’s judicial nominees will be felt long after Trump leaves office.
His administration placed a high priority on nominating young conservatives to the bench.
Trump’s judicial nominees tend to be in their 40s, which means they could help shape American life for decades to come.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.