The Organization Judge
23 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2020
Date Written: September 25, 2020
One of the most alternately celebrated and criticized accomplishments of the Trump administration has been its appellate judicial appointees. In this Essay, I show how President Donald Trump’s appointees follow from, and yet also differ from, the template created by Ronald Reagan, and followed by every president, Democrat or Republican, since. When it comes to credentials, prosecutorial experience, and time spent in legal academia, Trump’s appointees are like those in prior administrations. But they are younger, have spent more time in politics, clerked, are less likely to be sourced from other federal courts, and have spent less time in private practice. I argue that these changes are likely to lead to a less predictable appellate judiciary, and suggest that appointers interested in stable doctrine should choose appellate judges with more private-practice, and less political, experience.
Keywords: Federal Courts, Appointments, Judicial Review
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