Feel Good Headline of the Day

From the most unlikely of places—The Guardian. Savor this one for all of its yummy schadenfreude:

Trump’s judicial picks: ‘The goal is to end the progressive state’

. . .  The makeup of America’s judges is quietly becoming the site of one of Trump’s most unequivocal successes: nominating and installing judges who reflect his own worldview at a speed and volume unseen in recent memory. Trump could conceivably have handpicked more than 30% of the nation’s federal judges before the end of his first term, his advisers have suggested, and independent observers agree. . .

“I think the goal is to end the progressive state as we know it,” said Baher Azmy, Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a progressive-leaning legal advocacy group.

Sounds good to me. But the story gets even better if you keep going:

That has involved, first and foremost, building a pipeline of potential conservative candidates, Keith said. Conservative groups like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation have become de facto clearing houses for Republican presidents and they absolutely have Trump’s ear.

According to the Hill, of the 13 judicial nominees confirmed since President Trump took office, 10 are either current or former Federalist Society members or regular speakers at its events.

I’ve thought for a long time that the Federalist Society is the most consequential conservative initiative of the last generation. Some other time I may go into this story in more detail, but the revival of constitutional originalism owes more to the persistent efforts of the Federalist Society than any other factor. As Margaret Thatcher liked to say, first you win the argument, and then you win the policy battle. (A good account of this can be found in Steven Teles’s book, The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement.)

But it gets better still! Coming soon: Trump’s court-packing scheme! Former Democratic operative Ron Klain raises the klaxon call in the Washington Post:

Conservatives have a breathtaking plan for Trump to pack the courts

Conservatives have a new court-packing plan, and in the spirit of the holiday, it’s a turducken of a scheme: a regulatory rollback hidden inside a civil rights reversal stuffed into a Trumpification of the courts. If conservatives get their way, President Trump will add twice as many lifetime members to the federal judiciary in the next 12 months (650) as Barack Obama named in eight years (325). American law will never be the same. . .

Enter the next element of the court-packing turducken: a new plan written by the crafty co-founder of the Federalist Society, Steven Calabresi. In a paper that deserves credit for its transparency (it features a section titled “Undoing President Barack Obama’s Judicial Legacy”), Calabresi proposes to pack the federal courts with a “minimum” of 260 — and possibly as many as 447 — newly created judicial positions. Under this plan, the 228-year-old federal judiciary would increase — in a single year — by 30 to 50 percent.

Again—sounds good to me. Klain leaves out of his breathless account the fact that Democrats did exactly the same thing in the late 1970s under Jimmy Carter—a quick expansion and then packing the appellate courts with Democrats. (It’s one reason the loopy Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is what it is today.) So sauce for the goose I think.

Special bonus schadenfreude item:


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