The Trump administration is an amorphous blob of awful flubber. It’s collection of awful people making awful policies has had a wrecking ball effect on Americans of all walks of life.
Nowhere could this impact be more profound than in our nation’s judicial system. Federal judges are appointed for life. Once confirmed by the Senate, they’ll remain on the bench until the decide to die or retire. Thus, presidents like George W. Bush can leave the principles of their toxic legacy in place long after they’ve left office.
To be fair, this can also mean that extremely qualified, prudent people can oversee the nation’s courts for a long time.
Regardless, let’s look at where we are right now. Mitch McConnell made life miserable for Obama-era judicial nominees, especially Merrick Garland who never got the chance he deserved to sit on the Supreme Court.
Once Trump took over, McConnell went absolutely crazy as he began to reshape the nation’s courts in his own mold. It started with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. I completely disagree with many of the views of Gorsuch, but I will not dispute that he is qualified to serve as a judge.
The same cannot be said for the Apprentice reject clowns that Trump has nominated for lower courts. Even Republican and Senate Judicial Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who has strong partisan hack tendencies, has serious reservations about some of Trumps nominees.
These nominees include Jeff Mateer, a man who represented anti-LGBTQIA hate groups and referred to the separation of church and state as a myth. They also include Brett Talley, who is not only the husband of a White House staffer, but also a ghost hunter and defender of the “first KKK” on Internet forums. The latest of these hacks to face a friendly firing squad was Matthew Peterson, who couldn’t answer a series of basic legal questions from Republican Senator John Kennedy.
This whole episode takes me back to the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, where Obama ripped into Trump for having zero capacity to lead or grasp policy. It was a joke that is depressingly accurate. Trump has nominated people to be actual federal judges, deciding actual federal cases related to the actual constitution, that have the actual experience level of the contestants of the Celebrity Apprentice.
This is Trump’s America, the one he’s trying to keep us in with these lifetime appointments. It’s sickening.