CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is a regular presence on CNN, often describing how deeply troubled the Trump White House is over Russia or other signs of Trump’s impending political doom. So it’s surprising to see this Toobin article on Wednesday at his other gig, The New Yorker magazine: “Trump’s Real Personnel Victory: More Conservative Judges.”
Trump has a personnel victory? Will CNN notice? It’s been widely discussed around the nation’s capital that Team Trump has walked very slowly in nominating appointees for many government departments and agencies, but not when it comes to the judiciary:
So while the public watches Trump churn through White House staff members, his Administration is humming along nicely in filling federal judgeships, with the enthusiastic assistance of the Republican majority in the Senate. The first and most important victory for the President came with the confirmation of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, in a seat that Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, the Republican leader in the Senate, kept vacant for nearly the full final year of Barack Obama’s Presidency. But McConnell didn’t just protect a Supreme Court seat for the next President; he basically shut down the entire confirmation process for all of Obama’s federal-judgeship nominees for more than a year. It’s the vacancies that accumulated during this time—more than a hundred of them—that Trump’s team is now working efficiently to fill.
This is all bad news for the Left....so we could guess CNN will keep quiet about it. If they do report it, we can be sure it will be presented as a terrible problem, not a victory for the country. Toobin argued the GOP just cares more about judicial appointments, which seems weird given that the leftists love to make public policy from the bench:
Trump has also benefitted from the greater interest that conservatives, as compared with liberals, have shown in federal judicial appointments at all levels. Republicans simply care more than Democrats do about getting their people on to the bench. Illustrating the varying priorities of the two parties, Allan Smith, of Business Insider, compared the first six months of judicial appointments under Obama and Trump. Smith found that, in this period, Trump nominated eighteen people for district-judgeship vacancies, and fourteen for circuit courts and the Court of Federal Claims. During that same period in Obama's first term, he nominated just four district judges and five appeals-court judges. In total, when U.S. Attorneys are included, Trump nominated fifty-five people, and Obama just twenty-two.
Toobin did lament to Chris Cuomo at the end of the Supreme Court's term in late June that Justice Gorsuch turned out to be "very conservative," even "Clarence Thomas-like" on the high court, and if you know Toobin, that's a staggering insult.