Trump Names Two More Judges for the 11th Circuit

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 21, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The political pendulum is quickly swinging to the right in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit, as President Trump named two more judges to the federal bench.

Judge Elizabeth Branch of the Georgia court of appeals has been nominated to fill a vacancy on the federal appeals court. Stan Baker, a federal magistrate, has been tapped for a district court judgeship in South Georgia.

The latest nominations, particularly to the appeals court, mark a clear changing of the guard during the Trump Administration.

Changing of the Guard

Trump's first nominee to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Kevin Newsom, was confirmed last month. Baker, if confirmed, would join Judges Newsom, Edward Carnes, Gerald Bard Tjoflat and William Holcombe Pryor, Jr. as Republican appointees.

Although Democratic judges comprise a majority on the appellate bench, the 11th Circuit presides over the country's most conservative demographic. As Trump's appointments continue there, it will reverse the balance of power in the courts of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

During the last administration, President Barack Obama flipped the political profile of judges around the country. By the time Obama left office, Democratic judges formed majorities in nine of the 13 circuits.

Trump is on track to change all that.

Outpacing Obama

Surprisingly, Trump is out-pacing Obama and Bush before him in judicial appointments.

"The Trump administration has moved faster on filling judicial vacancies compared to the past administrations, thanks to its commitment to working with and extensively consulting all senators, regardless of political affiliation, to select high-caliber nominees," said Kelly Love, a White House spokesperson.

He has about 140 federal court vacancies to fill and has already named 52 replacements -- far more than any recent predecessor during the same time period. It has bothered senators who claim the president rushed past them in making nominations, but it hasn't stopped him.

Newsom, who was questioned about his writings on slavery and abortion, handily won his appointment to the 11th Circuit. And it looks like Trump's latest nominees there are headed for easier confirmations.

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