President Donald Trump has been more influential on shaping the judicial branch of government than President Barack Obama was, according to new statistics gathered by Pew Research Center.
According to Pew, Trump has appointed a total of 43 justices to the federal circuit up to July 12. In that same time frame — from inauguration day until July 12 of the second year in office — President Obama appointed 37 justices.
Trump’s figure is all but certain to rise as more judges who were appointed by earlier presidents retire and as Trump continues to appoint and the Senate continues to confirm justices. In fewer years, Trump will have more influence on the judicial branch than former president Obama had in his eight years in office.
Furthermore, Trump has had a rare two chances to appoint a Justice to the United States Supreme Court, and even rarer, both have been during his first term in office. Trump’s 43 appointees thus far of course include his first confirmed Supreme Court tap Justice Neil Gorsuch, an additional 22 appeals court judges and 20 district judges.
Trump’s 22 appeals court picks means he has appointed more appeals court judges than any other president in modern history at this point in their tenure. Obama appointed nine, George W. Bush nine, Bill Clinton 11, George H.W. Bush 15, Ronald Reagan 14 and Jimmy Carter 10.
According to Pew, 58 percent of all federal judges lean liberal and were appointed by a Democratic president, compared with the 42 percent who lean conservative and were appointed by Republicans. Currently, six percent of the 725 active federal judges in the United States were appointed by Trump, and that number is is sure to increase.
The Supreme Court, of course, leans conservative with 56 percent to 44 percent.
The appeals court is leans slightly liberal, with 51 percent liberal judges to 49 percent conservative judges.
And most drastically, the district courts are currently stacked 61 percent liberal to 39 percent conservative.
The shaping of the courts was a strong factor in many conservative minds who were unsure of whether to cast a ballot for president in 2016. That factor turns out to be one they will have little regret for considering.