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Here's Why Trump's Commitment to Nominating Young Judges Will Leave a Mark on the Judiciary for Decades

July 11, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

The president is shaping America's future in his frightening image.

The United States has yet to have a Generation X president (Barack Obama, born in 1961, is technically among the latter part of the Baby Boomer generation). But when President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, now 50, to fill a seat once held by the late Antonin Scalia, Gorsuch became the first Gen-Xer to join the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, Trump has been nominating Gen-Xers exclusively for the High Court, and that is by no means a coincidence. If Trump has his way, there will be even more Gen X-ers on the Court—all of them far-right ideologues and rigid social conservatives who share the “strict constructionist” philosophy of Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas.

In the past, presidents didn’t necessarily have a preference for Supreme Court nominees who were in their 40s or early 50s. For example, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now 85, was already 60 when President Bill Clinton appointed her in 1993. Judge Merrick Garland, who would be on the Supreme Court today instead of Gorsuch had the vindictive Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell not refused to even consider him, was 64 when he received Obama’s nomination. Trump, however, is being quite strategic in his emphasis on Gen-X nominees; he wants to make sure he’s nominating ideologues who are likely to still be on the Court 30 or 35 years from now—and Judge Brett Kavanaugh fits that description. 

On Monday night, Trump officially announced that 53-year-old Brett Kavanaugh would be his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is now 81 and retiring from the Supreme Court after 30 years at the end of the month. Born February 12, 1965, Kavanaugh is, like Gorsuch, a Gen-Xer—and if he lives as long as Ginsburg, he could still be on the Court in 2050. Trump knows that all too well. 

Before Trump nominated Kavanaugh, others who were said to be on his “short list” of nominees included 46-year-old Amy Coney Barrett and 51-year-old Raymond Kethledge—both Gen-Xers, both “strict constructionists” in the Scalia/Thomas vein and a departure from …read more


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