President Joe Biden's policies are running head-on into President Donald Trump's courts. Since Biden took office in January, Trump-appointed federal judges have already blocked Biden actions on several major items. "The Biden administration has come in essentially continuing the work of the Obama administration...and that's getting caught up in the judiciary, especially the scores of judges that Donald Trump was successful in appointing," says Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the CATO Institute.
Among the moves blocked by federal judges so far are Biden's order halting deportations (in a case brought by Texas), his ban on new oil and gas leases on federal lands, and his plan to deliver pandemic relief to certain groups based on race.
Shapiro tells KTRH this is a direct result of Trump's success in reshaping the federal judiciary. "Trump appointed more judges in one term than any president other than Jimmy Carter," he says. "Especially at the appellate level, the circuit courts, where Trump got 54 judges confirmed...that's just one fewer than Obama in two terms."
While early returns in the courts are promising for Trump and his supporters, many of these cases still face an uncertain fate in the U.S. Supreme Court, which despite a 6-3 split in favor of Republican appointees, has remained fairly moderate to unpredictable under Chief Justice John Roberts. "The (Roberts) court in general doesn't want to make sweeping pronouncements," says Shapiro. "So I think at the margins, the lower courts will stop executive excess...but it's not going to be some radical conservative agenda."