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More Federal Judges Prioritize Original Meaning of the Constitution

November 7, 2019

We have some encouraging news. There are currently more federal judges who prioritize the original meaning of the Constitution than there have been for decades.

Working with the Senate, the Trump Administration has appointed and confirmed an unprecedented number of judges with an originalist and textualist judicial philosophy. President Trump has appointed, and the Senate has confirmed, 158 judicial nominees to the federal bench. This includes…

  • 112 District Court judges
  • 44 Circuit Court judges
  • 2 Supreme Court justices

These numbers are impressive. But what they represent is even more important.

Our nation’s Founders intended for our Republic to be “a government of laws and not of men.” That’s why, for the first time in human history, they constructed a government where the people ruled and individual freedoms were protected by a system of checks and balances.

One vital part of this system is the separation of powers. The Founders created three separate branches of government with separate duties. The branch of government that creates law, the legislature, is chosen by the people. This is intended to keep power in the hands of the people.

It is a huge problem when one branch of government begins to take on the tasks of another. It isn’t just thwarting the Founder’s plan, it is threatening the very freedoms that plan was created to protect.

For decades, we have seen some in the judicial branch begin to take on roles given to the legislature. We’ve seen a judicial philosophy emerge that seeks to change the Constitution instead of simply interpreting it.

In the 1980s, some attorneys tried to counter this growing trend by promoting the idea that it’s a judge’s job to interpret the Constitution and laws passed by Congress as they are written and were originally understood.

For years, those attorneys have been in the minority on law school campuses and in court rooms. But with the recent wave of federal-court appointments, thankfully, that trend appears to be changing.


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