Donald Trump Is Doing One Thing Well: Appointing Lifetime Judges

From the Los Angeles Times:

Brett J. Talley, President Trump’s nominee to be a federal judge in Alabama, has never tried a case, was unanimously rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Assn.’s judicial rating committee, has practiced law for only three years and, as a blogger last year, displayed a degree of partisanship unusual for a judicial nominee, denouncing “Hillary Rotten Clinton” and pledging support for the National Rifle Assn.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee, on a party-line vote, approved him for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

So what qualification did Talley have? Answer: he’s conservative and he’s young. At age 36, he’s likely to stay on the bench 30 or 40 more years. He’s also white and male, which seems to be something Trump values pretty highly too:

That chart comes from “How Donald Trump Is Remaking the Federal Courts in His Own Image,” a piece by Kate Harloe on our main site. It’s worth a read. Thanks to Republican stonewalling in 2016, there are a huge number of judicial vacancies for Trump to fill, and it turns out that this is one of the few things he’s doing with speed and efficiency:

Beyond new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump has already nominated judges to more than half the vacancies, putting forward an astonishing 18 names for federal appellate courts and 40 more for the district courts. Of those, 12 have been confirmed. By this time in Obama’s first year, only two circuit court judges and four district judges had been confirmed.

This is one reason why Republicans are so loath to criticize Trump. Sure, they want to pass their tax bill, and they need Trump for that. But they also want to remake the federal judiciary, and as long as Trump keeps sending them Federalist Society nominees they’re not likely to care too much what else he does.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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