Retired Federal District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin says President Donald Trump’s selection of “hard-right” jurists to the bench could do lasting damage to the United States.
“Many of the president’s actions can be easily overturned by a new president, just as Trump has erased so much of what Barack Obama achieved,” Scheindlin, who served for the southern district of New York from 1994 to 2016, writes in a column published in Friday’s Guardian.
“But one thing that cannot be altered by a new president is the lifetime appointments to the federal bench, which will shift the balance of power in the courts for the next two generations.”
Scheindlin says a “record number” of Trump nominees have received a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association, “or the tepid rating of ‘qualified’ as opposed to the ‘well qualified’ rating of the vast majority of [President Barack] Obama’s nominees.”
“Many, if not most, are opposed to abortion rights, labor unions and gun control, and support limiting immigrants’ and prisoners’ rights,” she writes.
“The damage to the federal judiciary that will take place in Trump’s four years is of great concern. The pace of confirmation will slow if the Senate flips to Democratic control — but the irreversible harm will be completely devastating should this president remain in office for eight years.”
Scheindlin was nominated to the federal court by President Bill Clinton in 1994 for a seat vacated by Louis J. Freeh, who became director of the FBI.
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