Trumpie kicks another goal.
WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump broke the all-time record on first-year judicial appointments to the federal appeals courts on Thursday, as the Senate confirmed James Ho to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Fifth Circuit, a nominee notable as a racial minority who is outspoken on the importance of constitutional conservatism.
Senators voted 53-43 to confirm Ho of the Fifth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Democrats voted overwhelming against Ho, as they have done for all of President Trump’s nominees to the appeals courts.
Unlike some judicial nominees, Ho is assertive and unapologetic about his adherence to originalism—the judicial philosophy that the Constitution must always be interpreted according to the original public meaning of its words. When senators asked him if he was an originalist, instead of the verbal tap-dance many nominees do to avoid that hot-button term, he answered bluntly, “Yes, I am an originalist.”
Ho likewise trumpets his affiliation with the conservative Federalist Society, which is vilified daily in left-of-center circles. Rather than downplay that connection, when asked if he was connected to the organization, he answered, “I am proud to be a member of the Federalist Society. I have been a member since my earliest days in law school.”
Ho is the 12th judge confirmed this year to the federal appeals courts. Kennedy and Nixon appointed 11 judges in their first year.
The Senate also confirmed six judges to other federal courts in the face of unprecedented obstruction from Senate Democrats. Their filibusters consumed up to 30 hours of floor time per nominee in an effort to limit the number of judges confirmed under President Trump.