Multi-ethnic crowd shows wide appeal of president.
By Mark Anderson
LAS VEGAS, Nevada—Speaking on Feb. 21, one day before his Democrat challengers held their Nevada caucuses, President Trump was on a roll at a campaign rally covered by this writer. There he detailed major strides made by his administration with a strong emphasis on approaching the threshold of his 200th judicial appointment to the lower federal courts.
As Vice President Mike Pence said in his opening rally remarks—and as President Trump reiterated—these new judges will help advance the president’s promised agenda in myriad ways, including expanding freedom of religion and reintroducing prayer in public schools, as well as enhancing free speech and the right to keep and bear arms.
President Trump talked about the construction of more sections of the border wall: “The wall will cover 500 miles [by] sometime next year.” He told rally-goers that the wall was being “built to Border Patrol specifications.”
According to Trump, “wall apprehensions are down for eight straight months, illegal crossings are down 75% since last spring, and we have ended catch-and-release,” a reference to the practice of freeing detained illegal aliens and trusting they’ll show up for court dates, which often leads to them never showing up for their court dates. Trump also told his Nevada supporters that he’s targeting the sanctuary cities and their leaders who defy Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and give safe haven to illegal aliens, including ones with serious criminal records.
Trump understands that installing more conservative judges could be as effective as having the wall in place, since it likely would prevent his border-defense initiatives from so easily being shot down. The appointment of these judges will assist “a president who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life,” as Pence noted, to thunderous applause.
On the very next day, the pro-open borders Los Angeles Times conceded that the realm of “liberaldom” is experiencing signs of decline. Trump has named 10 judges to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco in less than four years—more than one-third of its active judges. This has changed the complexion of this infamous incubator of radical liberal rulings.
The Times quaked:
In few places has the effect been felt more powerfully than in the sprawling 9th Circuit, which covers California and eight other states. Because of Trump’s success in filling vacancies, the San Francisco-based circuit, long dominated by Democratic appointees, has suddenly shifted to the right, with an even more pronounced tilt expected in the years ahead.
“Liberal judges stand in the way . . . like when it comes to [protecting] the First Amendment, the Second Amendment and [overturning] Roe v. Wade,” Trump told the capacity rally audience, which was heavily populated by women sporting “Women for Trump” signs, including Latina and Asian women and other minorities of both genders.
Barack Obama appointed just seven judges to the 9th Circuit over his eight years in office, and 9th Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith Jr., a George W. Bush appointee, was quoted as saying, “Trump has effectively flipped the circuit.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Sen. Bernie Sanders both showed well in Super Tuesday contests, with Biden now the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president, but President Trump believes that his own path to reelection looks clear. He said the Democrats are too far to the left and too off-kilter to unseat him, and that his supporters’ main focus is to ensure “four more years.” To do this, he says, Republicans must “get out the vote” and make sure every Trump supporter they know makes it to the polls in November.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Email him at [email protected].