The bigger picture is that Trump is rapidly filling up the federal bench, which is relatively barren thanks to eight years of Republican obstruction in the Senate. Trump is moving much quicker than Obama did: At this point in his presidency, Obama had made four appointments, including now–Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Trump has made 17 nominations, including Justice Neil Gorsuch.

And the records of his nominees are unprecedented. Kristine Lucius worked for 14 years as a top legal and policy adviser to former Senate Judiciary Chairman and ranking member Patrick Leahy. She is now an executive vice president at the Leadership Conference, and told The Nation she was shocked by the Schiff and Bush nominations.

“I’ve literally worked on hundreds of judicial nomination hearings, and I have never seen one with records like this,” she said. “I have found it stunning that two individuals with this kind of controversial written record made it through the vetting process.”

The public didn’t know about most of Schiff and Bush’s writings until they were disclosed in paperwork filed to the Judiciary Committee, but it’s an open question when the White House counsel’s office and the Senate Republicans who recommended the nominees knew about it. “Is this something they did not know, so they couldn’t calibrate in their recommendation, or is it something they knew and they thought [would be] good for what is supposed to be an independent or impartial branch of government?” said Lucius. “And if it’s the latter, it’s downright frightening.”

Radical appointees like this will ensure the radical policies of Trump and Mike Pence will be with us long after they leave the White House. And there are short-term dangers as well. “I think we are seeing the American people learn an important civics lesson right now, which is about separation of powers,” Lucius said. “Right out the gate in the Trump presidency, the judicial branch was a check on the executive branch with enjoining his biased Muslim ban. There was an instant civics lesson of, ‘wow, the courts are willing to stand up to this president.’ And now the question is, will the Senate stand up to this president?”

The Judiciary Committee votes on Schiff and Bush have not been scheduled yet. If they make it out of committee, a full Senate vote is next.