Trump Wants to Shape Legal System for ‘50 Years’ by Appointing Young Judges

One of the Trump administration’s longest legacies has been the number of lifetime judicial appointments made during his term: more than 200 in total, including three to the Supreme Court.

Now, Donald Trump is openly bragging about appointing young, inexperienced lackeys to lifetime positions to further ensure his political impact outlasts his time in office should he be reelected.

Trump spoke Saturday at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting held in Dallas, Texas, after receiving the group’s official endorsement. During his rambling 90-minute speech, Trump told the story of the time he was approached by a friend of his, a 69-year-old real estate lawyer in New York, asking if he could be appointed as a federal judge if he gave up his private practice.

“I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it! You’re gonna be a judge, congratulations,'” Trump said.

When Trump approached his advisers about the cronyism hire, however, he said he found they were not too keen about appointing someone of retirement age to a lifetime position, because it would only last a few years before he needed to be replaced.

“We like people in their thirties so they’re there for 50 years or 40 years,” Trump recounted them telling him. “And as soon as they said that I realized yeah, they’re exactly right.”

Trump’s appointment of judges in their thirties to lifetime positions on the federal bench has already paid him dividends. Aileen Cannon, a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of Florida, was just 39 years old when Trump appointed her in 2020. Cannon is the judge presiding over the classified documents case against Trump, stemming from troves of top secret documents being uncovered at Mar-a-Lago in 2022 after he had left office.

Cannon has consistently postponed the start date of the trial, almost certainly delaying it until after the 2024 general election, which has led Trump to calling her a “godsend.”

If Trump, 78, is reelected, he would be the oldest president to take office. Despite this, he also bragged about his purported bill of health during the NRA speech, claiming former White House doctor turned Congressman Ronny Jackson (R–Texas) was asked, “Who’s a better physical specimen, is it Trump or is it Obama? And he said, ‘It’s not even close, it’s Donald Trump.”

Trump went on to claim Dr. Jackson said he’d “live for 200 years except he likes junk food, so he might only live to 110.” Although it is unlikely Trump will live to 110, if he’s given the opportunity, any changes he makes to the federal judiciary will likely be felt for generations.

More from Rolling Stone

Best of Rolling Stone