When President Barack Obama took over from George W. Bush, he had 54 judicial vacancies to fill; however, he is leaving behind 103 such vacancies for the Trump administration and his Republicans allies to manipulate most of these lifetime appointments.
It is reported that this judiciary bonanza if you will, has mobilized the Republican camp to back Trump on the issue especially the conservative evangelical Christians who are particularly excited about the prospect according to speculations.
It is not too difficult to understand the backlog that the vacancies of over 100 judicial positions have created and the pressure, or should we say pleasure, of filling in these vacancies on a war footing is now with the President-elect and his Republican friends.
If the Democrats are to be believed, the reason for the high number of judicial vacancies that Trump has inherited is the outcome of an unmatched level of “obstructionism” by the Republican Congress.
“Republican tactics have been shameful and will forever leave a stain on the United States Senate,” is what Eric Schultz, the White House spokesman, said. “Republican congressional dysfunction has now metastasized to the third branch of government, and that is not a legacy to be proud of.”
As far as the backlog of cases is concerned, Mr. W. Neil Eggleston, President Obama’s White House counsel, told the Post, “There are people and companies who are not having their cases heard because there are no judges around.”
The thought that the Republicans are ecstatic about the judicial vacancies is particularly significant in the case of the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court position, left vacant after Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016.
The President-elect’s campaign promise of appointing a justice not unlike Scalia with a special mention of names like Judge Diane Sykes and Judge Bill Pryor, who are well-known conservative jurists, is an indication of the future of the U.S. Judiciary.
President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the position of Associate Judge of the Supreme Court left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia was rejected by the Senate Republicans, in that, they refused to hold a hearing or vote on Obama’s nomination made in his last year as President of the United States.
The Republican Senate’s refusal to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, faced flak from the Democratic Senate and became a source of much controversy.
It’s a fact that the Republicans have a majority in the senate, however, marginal it may be, a bitter and acrimonious nomination process is a strong likelihood as the Democratic senate will fight tooth and nail over potential candidates for the position.
It must be pointed out, however, that The Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, including White House Counsel Don McGahn, are reported to be working together with the incoming administration in identifying potential nominees.