Since taking office, Donald Trump has been hard at work remaking the federal courts in his own image.
Our courts are supposed to protect the rights of all Americans, but Trump is now stacking them with far-right partisans willing to rubber-stamp his extreme agenda—from banning Muslims from entering the country to gutting the Affordable Care Act. These judges will serve for life, so Trump’s takeover of the judiciary will keep his hateful vision for America alive for decades to come.
Trump’s judicial appointees are 86% white; 78% men; 67% white men
A recent Demand Justice study of Trump’s confirmed judges found that on average, Trump judges are 20% more extreme ideologically than even George W. Bush judges.
But Trump and Senate Republicans aren’t carrying out this hijacking of our courts on their own.
Several Democrats have even voted for judges on Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist, even though Trump told us during his campaign for president that his shortlist would only include people who would roll back a woman’s right to have an abortion and even though Trump said he preferred judges who would vote to get rid of Obamacare.
We graded Democratic Senators on their response to the far-right capture of our courts during Trump’s first two years in office. Senators received a letter grade that reflects their willingness to fight Trump’s judges, and Democrats who didn’t fight hard enough were graded accordingly. More than a third received a D or an F grade.
Since we issued this report card, Senate Democrats have done a better job opposing Trump’s judges. But we must keep up the pressure.
Recently, the Senate has begun considering Trump judicial nominees who have refused to say whether the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, which struck down “separate but equal” in our public schools, was correctly decided. A dozen Democrats have voted for at least a third of these nominees.
Democrats may be in the minority in the Senate, but they still get the chance to register their support or disapproval on every one of Trump’s judges with the votes they take on the Senate floor. If we truly want to defeat Trump’s agenda, Democrats can’t surrender this fight. Senate Democrats ought to be opposing each and every judge that Trump nominates.