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May 3, 2019

Wondering, after 100 judges confirmed, if Trump judiciary has had much impact on sentencing jurisprudence

This Washington Examiner article, headlined "Senate confirms Trump's 100th judicial nominee," has prompted the wondering in the title of this post. Here is the background:

President Trump hit another milestone in his efforts to reshape the federal judiciary, with the Senate clearing his 100th judicial nominee Thursday.

The president and Republican-controlled Senate have made judicial nominations a top priority, and the confirmation of Rodolfo Ruiz to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida brought the number of Trump's judicial appointments into triple digits.

In addition to confirming Ruiz, the Senate is also set to clear two more nominees to federal district courts in Puerto Rico and Pennsylvania. If those two nominations win approval, Trump will have tapped 102 judges to the federal bench.

Trump’s judicial appointments include two Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, 37 federal appeals court judges, and 61 federal district court judges....

While Trump has seen great success in remaking the federal bench, his efforts have been met by resistance from Senate Democrats, who have criticized the president for the lack of diversity among his judicial picks. Trump’s judicial nominees are also young, ensuring they will leave a conservative stamp on the federal courts that will endure for decades....

More than three dozen judicial nominees are still awaiting votes on the Senate floor, including two of the president’s picks for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The San Francisco-based court is often the target of Trump’s frustration, as it has ruled against a number of the administration’s policies, and is considered the country’s most liberal appeals court. But if the Senate approves Trump’s two nominees to the 9th Circuit, it would bring the court closer to parity. Last month, Trump flipped his first appeals court, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which now has a majority of Republican-appointed judges.

On a day-to-day basis, the group of judges that matter most in the federal sentencing world are district judges, and I would love to hear from practitioners if they think any (or many) of the 61 federal district court judges appointed by Prez Trump approach sentencing in distinctive ways. I know I have seen more than a few notable circuit opinions authored by some of the circuit judges appointed by Prez Trump, but I am not able to follow all circuit jurisprudence close enough to see if an ever-growing number of new circuit judges is significantly shifting existing circuit jurisprudence.

Of course, the Supreme Court work of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh (and any future SCOTUS nominees) are sure to have biggest long-term impact on sentencing jurisprudence.  The impact of these new Justices has already been seen in more than a few capital cases, and I am paying close attention to the Haymond case (background here) in part because it should provide another interesting indication of where a new Trump-impact judiciary may be headed on important sentencing issues.

Thoughts or experiences, dear readers, concerning the 100 newest federal judges and sentencing?

May 3, 2019 at 09:45 AM | Permalink

Comments

I pray these are Constitutional Judges. I also pray for the day we have a real Judicial System in place. Maybe then the people will not be persecuted?

Posted by: LC in Texas | May 4, 2019 10:10:56 PM

A huge impact on the 11th Circuit where the "conservative" judges continue to fight the application of Johnson and Dimaya to prior convictions.

Posted by: defendergirl | May 6, 2019 11:35:01 AM

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