With a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, Donald Trump has been remaking the judiciary with record speed. Approximately 25 percent of circuit court judges are Trump appointees, and Democrats just can’t stand that. It seems that throughout Trump’s presidency they’ve come up with various unconstitutional schemes to thwart Trump’s ability to make his mark on the judicial branch of our federal government.
Following the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Democrats argued that the ongoing special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller precluded him from being able to nominate Kennedy’s successor. There was no precedent or constitutional basis for this argument. President Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court while he was being investigated over the Whitewater scandal. President Trump went on to nominate Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed following an unprecedented smear campaign by Democrats.
Now that the Democrats’ partisan impeachment has reached the Senate, failed 2020 presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris is making a similar argument to put the brakes on Trump’s making the judiciary great again. “Today, the United States Senate will receive articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and begin to determine whether the president’s actions warrant his removal from office,” Harris said in a statement. “The president is charged with high crimes and misdemeanors, and the Senate must take seriously its constitutional role in this process. During the time when articles of impeachment are before the Senate, it would be wholly inappropriate to advance the president’s nominees to the federal judiciary.”
Despite the House impeachment inquiry, Trump continued to have success getting conservative judges on the courts. Harris thinks that somehow the situation has changed and Trump doesn’t have the presumption of innocence or the constitution on his side.
Last month, conservative pundit Mark Levin presented a theory on his radio show that impeachment is really about blocking Trump from getting another Supreme Court pick during his presidency. “[Democrats] want to claim that they’ve crippled this lawless president, that the Republicans wouldn’t remove him from office, and there is no way that the Democrats will ever agree to him making another Supreme Court appointment, either in the next 11 months or, as I say, should he get re-elected and in the four years subsequent to his first term.”
While there’s no legal or constitutional basis for this to actually work, Democrats, who know Trump won’t be convicted in the Senate, seem intent on using impeachment as a “black mark” on Trump as a means of thwarting his agenda. I think Levin’s theory has merit, and it’s clear that Kamala Harris’s suggestion that judicial nominations should come to a grinding halt is further proof that impeachment is their perverted attempt to prevent Trump from filling any more vacancies in the judiciary—not just the Supreme Court.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis