The Trump administration gained a rare victory this summer in the most unlikely of venues—the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is widely viewed as the most liberal federal appeals court.
One big reason: President Donald Trump’s appointments to the 9th Circuit have moved it closer to ideological balance.
The court, long known for being both liberal and among the most overturned circuits, has been a thorn in Trump’s side, ruling against the president multiple times, mostly on immigration policies.
The confirmation of Trump nominee Daniel Bress in July gave the president his seventh judge on the court. It also brought the once lopsided appeals court to 16 Democrat appointees and 12 Republican appointees, with one remaining vacancy.
The administration won a 3-0 victory in June regarding a Department of Health and Human Services policy to restrict funding for family planning clinics that perform abortions.
While Trump hasn’t flipped the majority on the entire 9th Circuit, his progress increases the likelihood that randomly drawn three-judge panels will have more originalists, said Travis Weber, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council.