President-elect Donald Trump will be inheriting an unprecedented number of federal judicial vacancies as well as the open seat in the Supreme Court when he takes office on January 20th, 2017. This gives Trump a unique opportunity to reshape the entire federal judiciary system for decades to come.
When President Obama leaves office, he will be handing Trump around 103 federal court vacancies. This is almost double the number of vacancies that Obama received when he took over for President George W. Bush in 2009. In 2015, Obama made numerous judicial nominations but they were fired down by the Republicans after they seized control of the Senate that year. They even blocked Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat.
Now the Republicans are going to control the House and the Senate. As for the White House, Trump will be taking over the executive branch as a Republican. Even though he may not be a traditional Republican, he still has many of the same values and ideologies as most of the Republicans in Congress. So, they are expected to approve the judicial nominees that Trump decides upon after he takes office.
So, what will this mean for the country? Federal judges typically decide on many critical issues that affect the entire country such as abortion restrictions, gun control laws, anti-discrimination laws, immigrant laws, and voter laws. Then, of course, Trump gets to choose the Supreme Court judge who will replace Antonin Scalia, so that will be huge as well. With all these Republican conservative judges in charge of these national decisions, we can truly expect to see a different kind of America in the next 4 to 8 years.
Trump’s transition team has not produced any information about how Trump will choose his judicial nominees.