White House Counsel Don McGahn listens as President Donald J. Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Donald Trump’s once-transactional relationship with the conservative legal establishment has splintered in recent years, and his frustration toward the court system has grown - potentially heralding more volatility in how he would navigate judicial issues in a second term.

Now the dominant front-runner for his party’s presidential nomination, Trump has broken with many of the leaders and allies of the Federalist Society, a powerful conservative legal organization that boosted his campaign eight years ago and helped him stock the federal bench with their preferred picks. It is unclear how he would seek to fill judicial vacancies and make other related decisions should he win a second term, and he has not offered such a potential list of potential judicial nominees as he did eight years ago.


Supporters arrive before Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a Get Out The Vote campaign rally held at the North Charleston in Charleston, SC on Wednesday, Feb 14, 2024. 


Right-wing activist Leonard Leo, C, attends the 2023 Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner that is part of the Federalist Society’s 2023 National Lawyers Convention at the Washington Hilton Hotel on November 9, 2023, in Washington, DC. United States Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, the night’s keynote speaker, were also in attendance. 


Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump walks out to speak at a Get Out The Vote campaign rally held at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC on Saturday, Feb 10, 2024. 

WH Nov 6 2019

White House staffers who handle technical tasks prepare the audio system ahead of remarks by President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House. He is expected to make remarks highlighting what the White House calls "Federal Judicial Nomination Milestones."