Supreme Court? Forget about it. There is only one seat which needs to be filled there. But many of the U.S. Court of Claims judges will see their 15 year appointments expire within the next 2 years. The U.S. Court of Claims oversees what is commonly referred to as the Vaccine Court. This court is the gatekeeper which decides whether a vaccine injury victim has a viable claim. It is not easy for plaintiffs to win in the vaccine court. The Chief Judge and other judges on the U.S. Court of Claims were appointed by President Obama. But now that President-elect Trump has the power to appoint judges to this court, who will he be appointing? The question is important because vaccine injury claims are first heard by the vaccine court’s special masters. The 8 special masters are appointed to four year terms by the Judges of the U.S. Court of Claims. And their decisions may be appealed to these judges. Therefore, whomever Mr. Trump appoints to the Court of Claims will make a big difference in future vaccine injury claims.
Why does this matter? It matters because Mr. Trump has made his views regarding a connection between certain injuries and vaccines very clear. He believes there is “something there.” You may recall Mr. Trump’s tweet before the election:
Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2014
Mr. Trump may not only reshape the Supreme Court, he will also reshape the U.S. Vaccine Court.