It’s always been strange that Trump, who will never be mistaken for a rigorous constitutionalist and who personalizes everything, has elevated a couple of hundred judges who, by and large, are deeply committed to the Constitution and feel no particular personal loyalty to him.

Hardly an institutionalist, Trump has buttressed the institution of the judiciary. Not one to honor norms, he’s generally nominated sticklers for them to the bench.

The paradox has reached its height in the weeks since the election. Trump and his allies have launched a battery of litigation asking for millions of votes to be thrown out or elections to be decertified, hoping to catch a break from a judge somewhere or from the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump himself has put out a call for “courage” from a justice or justices.

Instead, the Trump team has gotten nowhere, even with Trump-nominated jurists.