President Trump and the Federal Judiciary

April 05, 2018

 

When President Donald Trump took office last year, there were over 100 federal court vacancies, roughly twice as many as when President Barack Obama faced the same situation in 2009. Since then, President Trump has been nominating judges and having nominees confirmed at “record speed,” leading many senators from both sides of the aisle—from Senator Ted Cruz to Senator Chris Coons—to  assert that the most long-lasting and significant legacy to the Trump administration “will be the men and women appointed and confirmed to the federal bench.”

This topic and others were part of the Federal Bar Association’s annual mid-year meeting in Washington, D.C. At that event, National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen moderated a debate between John Malcolm, vice president at the Heritage Foundation, and Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, on the current state of the federal judiciary, and how President Trump’s recent appointments could continue to affect the courts and the law for years to come.

FULL PODCAST

PARTICIPANTS

John Malcolm is Vice President of the Institute for Constitutional Government and Director of the Meese Center for Legal & Judicial Studies and Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, where he oversees the Heritage Foundation’s work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law.

 

Elizabeth Wydra is President of the Constitutional Accountability Center. From 2008-2016, she served as the CAC’s Chief Counsel, representing the Center as well as constitutional scholars and historians, state and local government organizations, and groups such as the League of Women Voters and the AARP.

 

Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, the only institution in America chartered by Congress “to disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” He is also a professor at The George Washington University Law School, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. 


Additional Resources

Our Interactive Constitution is the leading digital resource about the debates and text behind the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. Here, scholars from across the legal and philosophical spectrum interact with each other to explore the meaning of each provision of our founding document. 

 


Stay Connected and Learn More

Continue today’s conversation on Facebook and Twitter using @ConstitutionCtr.

Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at bit.ly/constitutionweekly.

Please subscribe to We the People and our companion podcast, Live at America’s Town Hall, on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app.

We the People is a member of Slate’s Panoply network. Check out the full roster of podcasts at Panoply.fm.

The Constitution Center is offering CLE credits for select America’s Town Hall programs! Click here to learn more.

And finally, despite our congressional charter, the National Constitution Center is a private nonprofit; we receive little government support, and we rely on the generosity of people around the country who are inspired by our nonpartisan mission of constitutional debate and education. Please consider becoming a member to support our work, including this podcast. 

Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you. Contact the We the People team at [email protected]

Sign up for our email newsletter