November election results come; Trump fills judge vacancies

Publishing every Friday,

Catherine Jackson and Renee Watters

Publishing every Friday, "The Top 2" recaps the two most notable and important stories from the week (Saturday-Thursday). Assistant Editor Ryan Stanley covers topics ranging from issues in the U.S. to problems worldwide. For more information on stories, refer to the embedded links within the article.

Ryan Stanley, Assistant Editor

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1. Texas voters approved 9 out of 10 proposed amendments on Tuesday; the biggest of which made it harder for lawmakers to enact a personal income tax. Outside of Texas, Kentucky’s Attorney General, Andy Beshear, a Democrat, narrowly defeated Governor Matt Bevin who formally requested re-canvassing of the election results. In Virginia, Democrats won control of both chambers of the legislation for the first time in a generation.

Why this matters 

Increased difficulty to legislate an income tax means Texas will continue to grow and attract companies such as Toyota. In addition, Proposition 6 allows for an increase in bonds available to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which could lead to new discoveries and treatments for cancer patients. The elections raise concerns for the G.O.P. heading into the 2020 election with democrats suburban advantage – as seen in the 2018 primaries – demonstrating its strength yet again in red states such as Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

2. Over 150 conservative judges have been confirmed by the Senate under President Trump’s administration. At the start of his term, 108 lifetime federal judiciary vacancies became available to Trump and by the end of 2020 more than half of the 870 lifetime federal judicial positions could become vacant. The Republican controlled Senate has already confirmed two of President Trump’s Supreme Court justices and 112 of his district court nominees.

Why this matters

By flipping the courts, the newly appointed judges will push a conservative agenda for their following years on the bench. The average age of the President’s nominees is less than 50, which ensures positions stay filled. While the Supreme Court hears approximately 100-150 of the 7,000 possible cases each year, the district courts faced a total of 442,044 pending civil and criminal defendant cases in 2018. More conservative district court judges means more local conservative decisions.