Despite the struggle President Donald Trump has had moving his agenda through Congress, his presidency is still likely to leave a major mark on U.S. law.

Texas figures heavily into the president’s fast-paced effort to fill federal court vacancies, and Kevin Diaz, Washington correspondent for the Houston Chronicle, says Texas is “ground zero” for Trump’s effort to steer the federal judiciary to the right.

Texas has 52 federal judgeships — the most of any state. Diaz says that if the president can fill the 13 open seats, that would establish a large contingent of conservative judges who align with the philosophy of both the president and the judicial groups who advise him.

President Obama also tried to fill vacant judgeships in Texas during his term, but Diaz says Republicans and Democrats complained he worked too slowly. Diaz also says Texas’ two senators, who are both Republicans, may have helped stall the process, waiting for a time when conservative appointees would be more likely.

Diaz says the candidates for the 13 open seats have already been vetted and are awaiting nomination by the White House.

 

Written by Caroline Covington.

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