Focus on the judiciary. This was my answer when, throughout the natural disaster known as the 2016 U.S. election, people would ask why they should even bother voting for “the lesser of two evils.” This is also my answer now, when people become so bogged down by the onslaught of perplexing and scandalous news coming out of President Donald Trump’s administration they find it hard to sift through what’s important and what’s not.
One can hardly be blamed for focusing elsewhere. Each day brings many Americans a new cause for concern — we have collectively agonized over proposals dealing with taxes, healthcare, immigration, climate change, education and a myriad of other issues with less than a year of this president’s term under our belts. This is to say nothing of the ongoing saga of indictments and plea agreements coming out of the Russia investigation.
But we need to shift focus to an often-overlooked branch: the judiciary. Particularly now, when we may increase the number of federal judges who hear cases on topics ranging from criminal justice, environmental regulations, intellectual property, immigration, securities, and of course, the Constitution.
This could be the biggest change to the federal judiciary in almost 40 years, dating back to when Congress created the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in 1980. Along with the record number of judicial vacancies that Trump has to fill, enlarging the judiciary would help the president continue to shape the legal precedents for at least half a century.