Donald Trump is doing a great job stacking the federal courts with young judges who will back his every play, no matter how prejudiced.
Yesterday, the full Senate confirmed Allison Rushing to a seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. At just 36 years old, it is entirely conceivable she will spend the next 40+ years of her life using the courts to impose her ultra-conservative and bigoted views.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is, along with its sister circuit courts, the second-highest court in the land. With that, you'd think that the people nominated to it would be people who have a good deal of experience as lawyers — perhaps even people who were judges on a lower court first.
With Trump, you'd be wrong. Rushing has only practiced law for nine years and has never served on a lower court.
She does, however, have all the qualities that far-right conservatives love in a judge.
As Charlie Pierce put it over at Esquire, Rushing has "been nurtured since law school in the carefully manicured terrarium of the conservative legal community." She is a member of the Federalist Society, the right-wing group that has been behind most, if not all, of Trump's judicial picks. She clerked for both Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.
Rushing also interned for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — and rightly so. The ADF consistently and viciously attacks LGBTQ people and has said that the "homosexual agenda" will destroy society.
Rushing has written about her beliefs in "traditional marriage," and that heterosexuality is more moral than homosexuality.
Trump is stacking the federal courts with very young judges, all the better to ensure that conservatives keep a stranglehold on the judiciary for decades to come.
Later this week, the Senate will take up the nominations of Eric Murphy, age 40, and Chad Readler, age 46. Both Murphy and Readler are deeply bigoted against LGBTQ people, and both are nominated to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Murphy argued against marriage equality, and Readler has defended Trump's transgender troop ban.
With a Senate willing to confirm any nominee he puts forward, Trump is shaping the federal courts in his own image: brutal, bigoted and inexperienced.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.