federal judiciary
federal judiciary

By Mike Davis | Fox News

While House Democrats pursue their partisan impeachment charade, the Senate Republicans confirmed Donald Trump’s 50th circuit judge last week — helping the president continue to shatter the all-time record for the number of critically important federal circuit judges appointed at this point in any prior presidency.

To put that number in context, President Barack Obama appointed 55 federal circuit judges during the entirety of his eight-year presidency; Trump has almost matched that in just three years. In doing this, the president has already appointed 25 percent of all active federal circuit judges around the country.

The two newest federal circuit judges are Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke, who won Senate confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over ferocious opposition by Senate Democrats and their left-wing allies.


Bumatay previously served as a federal prosecutor, fighting illegal immigration, drug cartels, and other serious crimes on the southern border in Southern California. He also served as a top attorney in the Justice Department, playing an important role in the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Bumatay graduated from Yale and Harvard Law, before clerking on the Tenth Circuit and then on a key federal district court in New York.

The Democrats and their left-wing allies have a long and well-documented pattern and practice of unfairly attacking conservative minority nominees – and they made no exception for Bumatay, who happens to be an openly gay Filipino. When Democrats claim they want more “diversity” on the federal bench, they really mean “liberal-judicial activists.”

Judge Lawrence VanDyke brings a wealth of legal experience to the position. He too graduated from Harvard Law, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked on the prestigious D.C. Circuit for Judge Janice Rogers Brown, an African American conservative women (again) appointed over fierce Democrat opposition. VanDyke is the only person to have ever served as the state solicitor general – the top appellate attorney – for two different states. He’s had 24 federal appellate arguments and served as counsel of record for 39 Supreme Court briefs.

VanDyke is unquestionably qualified to serve on the Ninth Circuit. Yet, the liberal American Bar Association (inexplicably) claimed that he was “not qualified” to serve, a political drive-by shooting timed on the eve as his confirmation hearing. As the Article III Project (A3P) research has shown, the ABA violated its own rules during VanDyke’s evaluation. Thankfully, the Senate Republicans did not simply hand over their constitutional advice-and-consent duties to the ABA. The political drive-by shooting backfired and now VanDyke has a lifetime appointment.

Trump has already “flipped” the Second, Third and Eleventh Circuits from a majority of Democrat-appointed judges to a majority of Republican appointees. 

There are 29 active circuit judges on the once-out-of-whack Ninth Circuit. With the confirmations of Bumatay and VanDyke, Trump has appointed 10 of those 29. When Trump took office, the Democrat-appointed judges on the Ninth Circuit outnumbered the Republican appointees by 11. Now, that number is down to just three. And when Trump wins re-election, he could actually “flip” the Ninth Circuit – something thought nearly impossible before his presidency.

And Trump has already “flipped” the Second, Third and Eleventh Circuits from a majority of Democrat-appointed judges to a majority of Republican appointees.

The Trump transformation of the federal judiciary extends to all levels. With the appointments of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, Trump saved the Supreme Court from being overtaken by liberal-judicial activists appointed by a President Hillary Clinton. And at 174 Article III judges, so far, the president has appointed more than all but one of his predecessors at this point in his presidency.

The judges appointed by Trump are younger and more qualified than the previous administrations’ picks. Don’t simply take my word for it; left-wing legal commentator Ian Milliser recently wrote extensively on the topic.

Long after Trump retires to Mar-a-Lago, these judges will continue interpreting the law as written (textualism) and commonly understood at the time of the law’s enactment (originalism) — not how they wish the law was written. Promises made, promises kept.

Mike Davis is the president of the Article III Project (A3P). He previously served as chief counsel for nominations to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.

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