“The prospect of more ideological and active conservative judges is not intrinsically bad. The federal courts look stronger for including a range of legal philosophies. The problem is that conservatives are not striving for balance, but conquest.”
–The Economist, (September 25, 2017), commenting on what it considers the politicizing of judicial nominees.
Federal judges in the United States are appointed by the president for life, subject to the approval of the Senate. The goal is for judges to be impervious to political pressure, judging impartially without worrying about the next election,
Nevertheless, the appointment of federal judges has become more politically motivated than ever in the last few years.
Refusing to approve presidential choices for federal judges in the last year of Obama’s presidency reached record highs. This practice is not new, but the number of times it was done is unprecedented.
President Trump, now enabled to appoint a large number of vacant judgeships, has shown less regard for experienced judges than any recent president. The process has come to resemble the questionable practice of appointing ambassadors for campaign contributions.
Political ambassadors, however, only serve until the next president takes office, not for life.
Since his political party controls the Senate, the issue of partisanship in the appointment of federal judges is theirs to support or to end. If they choose to act for party and not for country, we will suffer the consequences for decades.