One of the main complaints about President Trump that I see online from critics, not to be mistaken with NeverTrumpers or liberal #Resistance members, but simply those that supported him against Hillary Clinton and are frustrated and disappointed over the lack of progress against illegal immigration and other issues, is "If he really wanted to fix this, he could.... therefore it is all talk, he doesn't really want to."
First let me say, they can't be blamed for their frustration and impatience. President Trump has been in office since January 2017, and while many of the promises made in his "Contract with the American Voter," has either been kept, or attempted, but was blocked by liberal federal judges, in many cases still in the appeal process or headed to the Supreme Court, some of the major issues are in limbo waiting on the appeals process, then waiting to be accepted by the Supreme Court, which is highly frustrating.
For example, as part of that Contract, the president vowed to cancel federal funding to sanctuary cities..... that has not happened, but certainly not for a lack of effort, as his Executive Order signed just days after his inauguration that placed immigration-related conditions on federal funding to sanctuary cities, was blocked by activist courts and liberal judges.†
So, it is over? No, what many do not know is that two years after he signed that executive order, his administration is still in the appeals process, some of which is being fought state by state, as in February 2019, yet another federal judge ruled that the "Trump administration cannot cut off grants to Philadelphia for its refusal to cooperate with immigration authorities seeking to deport immigrants who are in the country illegally," as reported by Reuters.
That is just one example of an ongoing battle with liberal judicial activists, then appellant judges, before the Supreme Court can even be petitioned to hear the case.
There are dozens of these examples, but because they aren't headline news, many do not even know. Those cases include illegal immigration issues, DACA, environmental regulatory issues, and healthcare issues, among others.
Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration at least 63 times over the past two years, an extraordinary record of legal defeat that has stymied large parts of the presidentís agenda on the environment, immigration and other matters.
In case after case, judges have rebuked Trump officials for failing to follow the most basic rules of governance for shifting policy, including providing legitimate explanations supported by facts and, where required, public input.
Many of the cases are in early stages and subject to reversal. For example, the Supreme Court permitted a version of President Trumpís ban on travelers from certain predominantly Muslim nations to take effect after lower-court judges blocked the travel ban as discriminatory.
Liberal media are happy with that, breathlessly reporting that President Trump has a "losing" record, but this highlights the liberal nature of federal judgeships, and that is where "leveling the playing field" becomes paramount in order for this type of judicial obstruction to end.
Present day, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments regarding the citizenship question being added back into the census, which Washington Post is reporting the Supreme Court is "likely" to rule in the Trump administrations favor by allowing the question to appear on the 2020 census. (Archive.is link here, since Wapo is behind a paywall.)
Question: What is a President to do when lower courts and appellant courts continue to obstruct his executive orders and agenda?
1.) Request the Supreme court bypass some of the normal procedures by fast-tracking cases, which they do have the power to do, and have in some cases, such as the citizen question on the census.
Over the past few months, the solicitor generalís office has blanketed the court with requests to bypass the normal legal process and rule swiftly in high-profile cases. Even after the court rebuffed attempts to halt the first Census trial and a climate-change lawsuit, the Trump administration kept trying, asking the justices to cancel an injunction against Trumpís asylum ban. In an even more unusual move, the White House also asked the court to leapfrog lower courts and intervene in cases involving Trumpís decision to revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the administrationís policy against transgender military servicemembers.
The justices rejected the Trump administrationís request to block the injunction against the asylum ban in December, but only by a narrow 5-4 margin and several other requests are still pending. How the court responds will tell us a lot about what Trump might be able to expect from the courtís newly minted conservative majority.
2.) Level the playing field by nominating and confirming more federal judges to balance out the liberal majorities.†
To that end, Reuters reports "Trump chips away at liberal U.S. appeals court majorities:"
Aided by fellow Republicans in the Senate, President Donald Trump is rapidly filling vacancies on U.S. appeals courts, moving some that had liberal majorities closer to conservative control in an ideological shift that could benefit his administration.
Also, one of the most liberal appellant courts, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which "progressive legal advocates who have long seen the court as a safe bet for favorable rulings," according to Fox News, will now have nearly half their seasts filled by Republican-appointed judges, for the first time in nearly three decades.
The radical transformation of the San Francisco-based court is largely the result of President Trump's aggressive push to nominate conservative judges and bypass traditional consultations with Senate Democrats -- a practice that has led to repeated howls of protest from California's two Democratic senators, Kamala Harris and Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein. The 9th Circuit has a sprawling purview over cases arising in nine western states, including California, Hawaii, and Oregon.
Once Trump's latest picks to the 9th Circuit, including Ken Lee and Dan Collins, are confirmed as expected and remaining vacancies are filled, 13 of the 29 active seats on the key appellate court will be filled with judges picked by Republican presidents. At this time last year, 16 judges on the 9th Circuit were appointed by Democrats, with only six chosen by Republicans.
Note - The following breakdown comes from Wikipedia, and I am using it because I have double-checked the numbers and they are accurate.
"As of April 10, 2019, the United States Senate has confirmed 97 Article III judges nominated by President Trump, including 2 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, 37 judges for the United States Courts of Appeals, 58 judges for the United States District Courts, and 0 judges for the United States Court of International Trade. There are currently 60 nominations to Article III courts awaiting Senate action, including 5 for the Courts of Appeals, 53 for the District Courts, and 2 for the Court of International Trade. There are currently 8 vacancies on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 125 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts, 4 vacancies on the U.S. Court of International Trade, and 16 announced federal judicial vacancies that will occur before the end of Trump's first term (2 for the Courts of Appeals and 14 for District Courts). Trump has not made any recess appointments to the federal courts."
Recently the Republican majority in the Senate voted to "to slash the amount of time before a final vote on a nominee, from 30 hours to two hours, in certain circumstances," Buzzfeed reports, which has Democrats that used those 30 hours to try to slow-track persons nominated by President Trump, up in arms.
Those 30 hours have been a major sticking point. With just two hours of debate on the clock now, Republicans will be able to confirm multiple nominees in a single day ó likely three or four nominees, if senators stay into the evening ó and bump up the number of nominees they can get through in a week.
If any of the information above is surprising, that is the medias fault, yes, including us in the Independent Media, because while we are observing the Trump court docket issue, we obviously haven't spent enough time documenting the process, the ongoing court battles, and the actions being taken by this administration and the Senate, which we apologize for.
Many conservatives are justifiably frustrated and much of that frustration is being aimed at the President, yet not many offer up viable solutions of what they think he should do, just criticize that he hasn't accomplished certain things.
In many cases, the exact suggestion that would be offered, is something that is already being done, as the President attempts to reshape the courts and even out the playing field, while his administration is battling in the courts.
The impatience is understandable, but perhaps our frustration is being aimed at the wrong group of people.
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