Project description

U.S. President Donald Trump has made transforming the federal judiciary one of his top priorities and ‘Courting Change’ is a deep dive that examines the composition of the federal appellate bench and how Trump’s vow to transform the judiciary is shaping up.

What makes this project innovative?

‘Courting Change’ presents the important changes the Trump Administration is making in the federal appellate bench in a visually-compelling and approachable format. The role, importance and composition of the federal appeals courts are summarized in a series of sections and readers can get detailed data on each of the active judges, drill down on Trump’s picks and look at how the balance of power may begin to shift in some circuits as Trump appoints more judges.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

The project was shared widely on social media and was picked up and featured by Apple News. The interactive continues to evolve as new vacancies and appointments come about and serves as a resource for legal professionals and scholars.

Source and methodology

The journalists involved in the project spent months gathering, analyzing and fact-checking data from the Federal Judicial Center and the individual courts. As the graphic is continuously updated, the team had to ensure that a system was in place to keep track of new appointments and vacancies.

Technologies Used

HTML, CSS, Javascript and Adobe Illustrator

Project members

Matthew Weber, Gilda Di Carli, Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Christine Chan, Noeleen Walder, Caitlin Tremblay, Jonathan Oatis, Dan Brillman, Alessandra Rafferty and Herb Samuels



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