Trump Poised To Flip Courts Of Appeals To Republican Following Steven Menashi's Confirmation

The Senate has confirmed Steven Menashi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, giving the court a majority of judges appointed by Republican presidents and bringing President Donald Trump closer to giving conservatives the control of the majority of U.S. appeals courts.

Menashi became the 46th circuit judge to be appointed by Trump, despite strong opposition from Democrats, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York pointing to "a horrific record on race, women's equality, LGBTQ rights and immigrant rights."

"He led efforts to deny debt relief to students scammed by for-profit colleges and made it harder for sexual assault victims on college campuses to seek justice," Gillibrand said in a tweet on Thursday. "In no way does Menashi deserve this lifetime appointment."

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer agreed, asserting in remarks on the Senate floor that Menashi, a former partner at law firm Kirkland & Ellis and previous clerk for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, is a "textbook example of someone who does not deserve to sit on the federal bench."

"He would be a disgrace—a disgrace—to the seat once held by the great Thurgood Marshall," Schumer said, according to The Washington Post.

Despite their protests, however, the Republican-led Senate confirmed Menashi's appointment in a 51-41 vote.

With Menashi confirmed, the president has moved another step closer to bringing a Republican-appointed judge majority to U.S. appeals courts.

The Second Circuit in New York is the second appeals court to be flipped by Trump, with the U.S. leader having already turned the Third Circuit, which covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Virgin Islands, into a conservative-appointed majority court.

In a bid to transform the federal judiciary, Trump has appointed judges to the U.S. appeals courts at a stunning and record-breaking pace.

There are 13 federal appeals courts, with 12 "circuit" courts covering geographical areas and a 13th focused on patent disputes.

According to previous reporting from Reuters, only four of the 13 federal appeals courts had more Republican-appointed judges than Democrat ones just over a year ago in mid-September.

However, with two appeals courts now flipped, Trump would only need to change the direction of one more court, with the 11th District currently being split.

It is believed that the U.S. leader could soon see the Ninth Circuit appeals court flipped.

Already, in his first two years of office, Trump had succeeded in appointing more appeals court judges than any other president had in the same amount of time.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump walks along the colonnade after greeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upon his arrival at the South Portico of the White House on November 13, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Trump has moved closer to giving conservatives the control of the majority of U.S. appeals courts. Alex Wong/Getty