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Old 05-16-2020, 07:57 PM
Nzinga, Seated is offline
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Help me understand judge appointments by presidents


Guys, I need your help. I always come crawling back when I need your help.

People have tried to explain this, I tried to look it up but I’m slow or thick or what the fuck ever, I’m struggling. This is my question:

Someone said to me, “It is too late to save ourselves from Trump because he appointed so many justices that the effects of their decisions will doom us for the next 50 years. Folks should have never voted him in, and now even if we vote him out, it’s too late”

I am not interested in the politics of his statement at all. I am only trying to understand the idea that a sitting president can appoint so many justices that he uniquely can fuck us up for years to come.

Wouldn’t the next president have an equal opportunity to appoint judges? Didn’t Obama have that opportunity?!

What does this person mean? I do recall people wanting an older Supreme Court justice to retire so that he could get a democrat in. But mostly, I’m really lost and my ignorance on this... I got so many reasons, but there is no excuse. I simply am uninformed and on top of that, confused now. Can anyone clear things up.

Remember, I don’t care about how crazy my friend is or anything like that. I am specifically trying to get a breakdown of how appointing judges works for each president. Is it just timing that allows Trump to have this unique position to post so many judges that will vote in ways my democrat friend will hate?
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:10 PM
Velocity is offline
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It all depends on vacancies. Trump had a uniquely high number of vacancies because McConnell stymied Obama during Obama's last two years in office.

Of course, when Biden becomes prez, it's possible that Alito will step down, Thomas may die or step down too (old age,) etc. Ginsburg and Breyer look likely to step down too. So the Dems don't need to pull their hair out too much.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:47 PM
Fretful Porpentine is offline
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The "We are doooomed for a generation" stuff is hyperbole. Trump has appointed a few more judges, relative to his time in office, than his predecessors, but the gap isn't that big.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:03 PM
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Remember federal judgeships are lifetime appointments, so once an appointment is made, it’s going to last long beyond the term of the president who made the appointment.

On average, there would probably be some relatively even numbers of deaths and retirements among federal judges each year so it would work out generally evenly between presidents.

However during the end of the Clinton presidency and the end of the Obama presidency, the Republican Senate prevented the president from filling many vacancies at an unprecedented rate, and then when Bush and Trump got in, they opened up the gates toes at a bunch of Republican appointments that should have already been filled with Democratic appointments.

And the appointments have been getting younger and younger in some respects, meaning that those lifetime appointments will count for more.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretful Porpentine View Post
The "We are doooomed for a generation" stuff is hyperbole. Trump has appointed a few more judges, relative to his time in office, than his predecessors, but the gap isn't that big.
Trump. Has appointed a lot of appellate court judges, nearly as many in four years as most presidents appoint in eight.

Appellate court judges have the real power. They can overturn district judges but most of the appellate decisions are not taken up by the Supreme Court so they are allowed to stand as the new law.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nzinga, Seated View Post
Someone said to me, “It is too late to save ourselves from Trump because he appointed so many justices that the effects of their decisions will doom us for the next 50 years.
It depends what you think is the danger Trump presents.

If you think that Trump is primarily bad because he is a Republican, that's true, although 50 years is too long a time-frame.

If you think that Trump is primarily bad because he talks like a dictator, and because presidents who talk that way tend to eventually become one, the Supreme Court is still significant, but less so.

The worst thing the Supreme Court is likely to do is to let states where abortion is already so unpopular, that there are now hardly any clinics, ban it completely, requiring women to travel hundreds of miles, to other states, for an abortion. I am against that. But I'm more against locking up Trump's political opponents, with him now hinting at 50 year sentences. Then there is Trump's threats to use the FCC against free media, and his whipping up crowds against print journalists.

The one thing about Trump that doesn't scare me is his age. If you look at how long it took Putin to destroy the opposition and a free press -- I don't know Trump has that many vigorous years left. So you could say that Trump's dictatorial talk isn't as important as that he is, when it comes to judges, a normal Republican. I wouldn't say that, but it can be argued.

Last edited by PhillyGuy; 05-16-2020 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretful Porpentine View Post
The "We are doooomed for a generation" stuff is hyperbole. Trump has appointed a few more judges, relative to his time in office, than his predecessors, but the gap isn't that big.
I agree that there's a lot of hyperbole going on; this is not the end of days that some liberals are making it out to be.

But what Wesley Clark said is also true: Trump's much higher ratio of Circuit judge appointments is pretty significant, because these appellate decisions constitute precedent for the relevant circuit, and very few appeals are taken up by the Supreme Court. The vast majority of judge-made law in America is made by the judges on the Circuit Courts of Appeals.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:59 PM
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Also, Trump and the Republicans have had to play the judge card a lot over the last 4 years. A lot of Christians may be morally repulsed by Trump but understand the importance of getting open judicial slots filled by the Federalist society rather than Hillary Clinton.

Ever been to a right wing mega church? I guarantee you ‘activists judges’ come in every single sermon. They don’t even pretend to be neutral these days, they’ll tell you even in summer in an off year about the importance of voting Republican or else Democratic activist judges will allow perverts into the bathroom with your kids.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:02 PM
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Also, Trump and the Republicans have had to play the judge card a lot over the last 4 years. A lot of Christians may be morally repulsed by Trump but understand the importance of getting open judicial slots filled by the Federalist society rather than Hillary Clinton.

Ever been to a right wing mega church? I guarantee you ‘activists judges’ come in every single sermon. They don’t even pretend to be neutral these days, they’ll tell you even in summer in an off year about the importance of voting Republican or else Democratic activist judges will allow perverts into the bathroom with your kids.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Ever been to a right wing mega church? I guarantee you ‘activists judges’ come in every single sermon. They don’t even pretend to be neutral these days, they’ll tell you even in summer in an off year about the importance of voting Republican or else Democratic activist judges will allow perverts into the bathroom with your kids.
You regularly attend right wing mega churches?
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:20 AM
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How does Trump stack up against other presidents when it comes to appointing judges deemed "Not Qualified" by the ABA?
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