For all the problems President Donald Trump inherited from his predecessor Barack Obama, it seems there is at least one thing he could thank the Democrat former president for. With good humor, Trump gave his compliments to Obama on Thursday for leaving more than 100 federal judicial vacancies for him to fill.
Trump while giving a speech on America’s infrastructure in Ohio said: “I don’t know why Obama left that. It was like a big, beautiful present to all of us. Why the hell did he leave that?”
The President even implied that perhaps Obama got complacent in not filling the said significant number of vacancies.
Trump also added: “It was like the gift from heaven. We were left judges.” Trump has since nominated and confirmed more than two dozen judges since being sworn into office.
More than Obama, however, Trump can have his bigger thanks to his party mates, the Republican majority in the Senate towards the dying year of the Obama administration that played a pivotal role in slowing down Obama’s judicial appointments, and in the process deny the two-term president from creating a left-leaning feeder system for future Supreme Court nominees. It is such blockade that made it possible for successor Trump to inherit more than 100 judicial vacancies.
It was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who played the most valuable role in forcing Obama to leave those vacancies behind and allow Trump free rein to fill them up.
Some even said such was a well-laid plan of the GOP to move the federal courts to the right, in spite of the Democrats’ expected counterattack.
Delaware Democrat and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chris Coons once said in a media interview that if conservatives have their way, the Senate would “put judges on circuit courts all over the country, district courts all over the country, that will, given their youth and conservatism, will have a significant impact on the shape and trajectory of American law for decades.”
Coons even went as far to say that the judicial appointments will be “the single most important legacy of the Trump administration.”
McConnell strategically strong-armed the confirmation process and withheld a vote for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland during Obama’s final year as President. Once Trump and the Republicans have taken over the White House, McConnell nominated Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who the Senate then amazingly confirmed in less than three months.