WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - On August 1, the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed Kevin Newsom's appointment to the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals (Circuit Court), making him President Trump's third appointee to a federal court in 192 days.
Trump has surpassed the number of judges that were approved in the same time period during Obama's Presidency, and with over 100 federal court vacancies, he has the opportunity to reshape the federal court to affect the American judicial system for years after he leaves office.
So far, five of his appointees have passed the Senate, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Amul Thapar and John Bush of the Sixth Circuit Court and David Nye to the U.S. District Court of Idaho. Nye was originally nominated by President Obama but did not pass Senate confirmation.
Thapar and a few others on the list, including Allison Eid, Joan Larson and David Stras were also among those on a list of candidates considered by Trump for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Circuit Courts can affect national policy as much or more so than the U.S. Supreme Court. There were over 53,000 filings in the appeals court in 2016 as opposed to the Supreme Court's 7,000 filings.
Appeals court judges have been accused of "judicial activism," especially in certain courts' recent actions, blocking two of President Trump's executive orders banning immigrants from Middle Eastern countries known for harboring and exporting terrorists.
Judicial activism, however, has been used more recently to block strong pro-life state laws. Most recently, judges in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas have blocked the enforcement of laws, banning brutal dismemberment abortions.
On July 1, a federal judge blocked an Indiana law, banning abortions because of a baby's race, sex or disability.
Some judges, like William H. Orrick III, are themselves abortion activists, fundraising and donating money to abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
Despite differences, however, many know the influence of the federal court is imperative to the American system and that this is one of Trump's big opportunities to change the country's direction.