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Pro-abortion columnist laments how federal courts will change under pro-life President Donald Trump

by | Dec 8, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Linda Greenhouse

A relatively brief final post of the day. Linda Greenhouse, who now writes op-eds for the New York Times after covering the Supreme Court for the newspaper for nearly three decades, wrote a piece today titled, “Under Trump, the Federal Courts Will Be Up For Grabs.”

Pro-abortion from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet, Greenhouse breaks into a cold sweet at this prospect. Let me make three brief points about her column.

First, obvious but pivotal. The Supreme Court rightly gets the lion’s share of the attention, particularly in this case with the existing vacancy caused by the death of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia. But, as Greenhouse tells us, “The federal district courts and the circuit courts of appeals take in about 400,000 cases a year. In its last term, the Supreme Court issued 63 opinions. It hardly needs saying that the lower courts matter.”

Second, whenever there is a new President, there exists the potential for a real turnover in the federal courts. In addition to judges retiring, existing vacancies must be filled.

Again, hardly news. What Greenhouse is really telling us is the administration of the wrong guy–pro-life Donald Trump–will be making the wrong judicial choices.

Third, pro-abortion President Barack Obama made 327 appointments. “[T]here are now majorities of Democratic appointees on nine of the 13 circuit courts,” Greenhouse writes.

It’s not enough to have such supermajorities. Greenhouse laments that the four remaining circuits include “outliers,” the kind that resisted the assault on state laws requiring nothing more than that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital and that the abortion clinic upgrade its safety requirements.

Most notably that would be the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Thus, not surprisingly, the Fifth Circuit draws Greenhouse’s particular ire. And from her perspective, it could get worse.

How? “The year will end with proportionately more vacancies on the Fifth Circuit than on any other appeals court, three out of 17 seats.”

Did anyone say elections have consequences?