(FOX News) – President Trump was set to begin his bid Monday to reshape the makeup of the lower federal courts, with an expected rollout of several conservative nominees for judicial vacancies.
Hoping to build on the successful confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the president is said to have a list of additional conservative nominees at the ready.
A senior administration official said the president will announce at least five judicial nominees on Monday.
Two of them originally were on the list of 21 candidates that the Trump transition team considered for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s death, and ultimately filled by Gorsuch. According to the senior administration official, they are Justice Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court and Justice David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Compared against his modern-day predecessors, Trump is behind the curve in announcing nominees to lower-profile positions below the Cabinet level.
But one area where these nominations can have a huge impact is the federal courts. While Supreme Court vacancies capture national attention, a president can leave a lasting legacy by getting like-minded justices confirmed to U.S. district, circuit and other courts across the country.
Former President Barack Obama made more than 300 such appointments, as did George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. At the start of his term, Trump already is looking at nearly 130 judicial vacancies on the lower federal courts.
Following Monday’s announcement, the White House reportedly plans to roll out additional nominees at regular intervals. […]