People For the American Way

PFAW: New Analysis Shows Trump Judges to the Right of Bush and Reagan Appointees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2020

Contact: Press Department at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202.467.4999

Washington, D.C.— People For the American Way today released a new analysis, Trump Judges: Even More Extreme than Reagan and Bush Judgeshighlighting over a hundred cases in which federal appeals court judges appointed by Donald Trump wrote or joined opinions or dissents so extreme that even other Republican-appointed judges disagreed. The findings are remarkable given the efforts by Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan to pick very conservative judges. They come as Trump is reportedly preparing to announce his latest short list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

“These findings are alarming as we head into an election season in which Donald Trump is touting his judicial picks as a reason to reelect him,” said PFAW President Ben Jealous. “His judges aren’t just conservative, they’re radical right-wing extremists who make Bush and Reagan appointees look almost moderate.  In this current environment it’s especially troubling to read about Trump judges refusing to rein in police misconduct, because we can’t solve the problem of police violence when judges choose to turn the other way.”

“Donald Trump’s judges don’t just seem more conservative than earlier Republican judicial appointees, their actions in scores of cases are hard evidence that they make up a brand-new, far-right cohort on the federal bench,” said PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker. “In case after case involving critical issues such as health care, civil rights, workers’ rights and police violence, Trump judges are staking out extreme positions that hurt Americans.  Four more years of Trump would be terrible for our country for many reasons, and four more years for Trump to fill the courts with his judges would be one of the most concerning.”

The analysis lists 107 cases in which Trump judges joined or wrote opinions or dissents that place them to the right of earlier Republican appointees. The cases are drawn from a total of 428 cases involving Trump appeals court judges reviewed for PFAW’s Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears project, and represent just under one-fourth of the total cases analyzed for the project.

The analysis groups the cases in 11 categories: reproductive rights; health care and disability issues; workers’ rights; other civil rights; consumers and corporations; the environment; immigration; police misconduct; criminal law; other abuses of government authority; and other constitutional issues.

People for the American Way’s Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears project provides real-time analysis of the impact of Trump’s appointees to the federal appeals courts, including the Supreme Court. It includes an interactive web tool that allows users to sort cases by issue area, as well as an ongoing series of analysis pieces in our blog.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: