Just twenty four hours after Mr. Trump’s remarkable win, I was pounding away on Facebook about what his priorities should be. Hell, I didn’t even support him. Most suggestions from friends centered on campaign themes like Obamacare or the wall. For me, job one was to immediately assemble some experts, find every single judicial opening and fill each one. I still say, Trump needs judges … yesterday.
In fact, the obsession of many of my conservative friends with the 9th seat on the High Court is symptomatic of the complete lack of understanding about what Trump and America face. The judiciary is packed with liberals. It always has been in the modern era. After eight years of appointments by Mr. Obama, without a filibuster rule, the judiciary went from leans-left to hard-radical, leftist activists.
Some of my lawyer friends wrote me and said, “Hey, really, why are you so jacked up about Federal District Court seats? It’s a great job, but they are trial judges. They play no real role in the big scheme. We need to fill the Circuit Courts and the Supreme Court with Constitutional Conservatives!”
Lawyers are so cute when they think they have it all figured out. No one denies the critical role of Circuit Courts of Appeals. Even lay people also understand that control of the High Court is the whole game. However, only people who never clerked, or never practiced much in a trial court would sell-out how critical those courts are to helping re-shape the country. Trial courts, as we have found out, are not to be ignored. They put the legal issues before the higher courts in the right posture.
Federal Trial Court judges wield great power, and as we have seen in the first 24 days of the Trump era, everything this administration does will start at a Federal District Trial Court. Litigation will begin with forum shopping by leftist organizations and State Attorneys’ Generals trying to find sympathetic judges who will act as a block against a President who has no opposition party in any other branch or government.
Larry Tribe and his radical band of phony ethicists are plying their Emoluments arguments in the District Courts. In Washington State, one Federal District Court Judge expanded his authority and jurisdiction across the country, throwing out 65 years of good law, and supplanting his judgment for that of the President on national security. Finally, in the Eastern District of Virginia, left-wing activist Mark Herring won a remarkable win against the President before Judge Brinkema. In her order, Brinkema extended First Amendment, U.S. Constitutional rights to everyone … on earth. She ruled that non-citizen, non-resident, non-VISA holding, prospective Refugees had their Establishment Clause rights violated by President Trump. Hello? Those people don’t have Constitutional rights.
All of this radicalism is going down right on the front lines in our Federal District Courts. With hostile state AG’s choosing friendly courts and judges, the left has decided that it will make its political stand as rioters and protesters in the streets, while its lawyers look to obstruct and block the administration in the courts. To be clear, most lawyers are left-leaning, and indeed the vast majority of judges are as well. In fact, the legal industry and its schools predominately train and produce social justice warriors rather than thinkers or Constitutional conservatives.
Mr. Trump needs a team of legal scholars to help him assemble a world-class list of strong lawyers who the GOP can immediately place on the Court. These would be judges who understand silly concepts like standing, equal protection, immigration law, national security, and Constitutional conservatism. It would be delightful if any of them could articulate an explanation about federalism, original intent, or perhaps judicial restraint. What if they wrote legal opinions based on the law and stature before them. That last 51 pages of legal opinions on the President’s Executive Order, doesn’t mention the statute granting him the power? How is that possible?
It is ironic indeed that the need I thought was critical really was that important. We have war on Trump in this country. For those unwilling to burn our flag, wear a vagina hat, or riot in the name of protest, the battleground is in the Courts … where the Constitution is under siege. The President cannot make these appointments soon enough. He must make this a national priority before the judicial coup undoes his very election.
Right now, Mr. Trump’s entire agenda and his presidency are in the hands of DOJ lawyers from the deep state, most of whom are not sympathetic. They are carrying his water before lifetime Judges who despise him. Those Judges are listening to judicial activist lawyers they admire. It is a recipe for disaster because the Federal Courts, like most of our society, is now an irretrievably broken political mess.
Here is all the President needs to know. In the court proceedings he faced, neither the Judge, the Plaintiff, nor Trump’s own DOJ arrive at the Courthouse on the Trump Train. He needs lawyers and judges, and he needs them yesterday.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.
Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.
At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.
Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.