Democratic presidential contenders are facing increasing pressure to detail their plans for filling federal court vacancies amid angst over President Trump’s success in packing the benches with conservative judges.
Trump has been able to get his appointees confirmed at a pace that surpasses that of any recent administration. The Senate left town the week before Christmas after confirming 12 more of Trump’s judicial appointees, bringing the total number of lifetime judges appointed in this administration to 187.
For many on the left, the issue of recapturing the courts has become more urgent as those judges make their mark on a host of high-profile issues.
Last week, a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a key tenet of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance, is unconstitutional, setting up a likely fight in the Supreme Court. One of the judges who joined the ruling, Kurt Engelhardt, was appointed by Trump in 2018.