Amid news that two of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees had been summarily rejected by congressional Republicans lies a darker truth — that there are still more than a dozen others who have been confirmed that will likely be on the bench to do the president’s bidding long after he leaves the White House.
As The Huffington Post’s Jennifer Bendery wrote Thursday, Trump has already “reshaped the courts” by successfully confirming 12 circuit court nominees — the most any president has confirmed since circuit courts were created in 1891.
Along with those 12 judges, Trump’s successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and six district court judges could spell major trouble for abortion and LGBTQ rights.
Confirmed on Halloween, anti-choice judge Amy Coney Barrett considers the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate “a grave infringement on religious liberty” and has publicly attacked the precedent set by Roe v. Wade. Barrett’s aren’t even the most controversial views of Trump’s district court nominees — another John Bush, was confirmed despite having compared abortion to slavery.
Even one of the four nominees determined “unqualified” by the American Bar Association, Leonard Steven Grasz, was confirmed this week by the Senate. Grasz infamously sat on the board of a nonprofit that promoted “gay conversion therapy.” Despite being quite openly opposed to abortion rights, Bendery noted that Grasz was confirmed by pro-choice GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) and Susan Collins (R-ME).
District judges, the writer continued, are appointed for life — meaning that these controversial and high-powered federal judges will be swaying case law for years to come.