Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Judges vs US Constitution

I am deeply concerned by the direction in which the federal judiciary has gone in recent decades. Far too many judges have been nominated and confirmed based on some divisive "litmus test" such as gun rights or abortion rights. The only correct "litmus test" that should be applied is a deeply-held respect for the US Constitution and those laws and precedents that fully comply with the original intent of the Constitution.

Thanks to CSPAN, I have been able to follow various Supreme Court confirmation hearings. I am disgusted by what I've seen. I am convinced that the judicial confirmation process is broken. The blame clearly lies with the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. Their focus during the hearings has been on political issues (the role of Congress, not the courts) rather than on judicial competence, temperament and integrity. The antics and comments of some Democrats are shameful and juvenile.

On taking office, every federal judge takes the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.
Any judge who uses the terms "empathy" and claims the court "is where policy is made" to describe his or her role is unfit for the job. Any judge who does not understand, respect, and follow the concept of "rule of law" and make judgments based on the US Constitution as the supreme law of the land is unfit for the job.

In her Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Sotomayor was evasive and vague even when asked to articulate basic constitutional issues. I can remember Justice Roberts being able to cleanly articulate constitutional principles without too much trouble and could even differentiate between the roles of politicians and judges. How can the Senate confirm a judge to the US Supreme Court who does not believe in rights that are explicitly stated and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights? Yet, they do.

Regarding Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Senator Charles Schumer said,
He's qualified, but he's out of the mainstream....He's stuck in the past. He believes the Constitution means what it says.

Unlike Senator Schumer, Senators must make all decisions regarding judicial nominees based on the judge's professional qualifications and his/her respect for the Constitution -- not on whether he/she is politically correct (politically cleansed).

On taking office, every Senator takes the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will ; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
They do not take an oath to any political ideology, political party, party leader, king, or president. They take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate must expedite confirmation of judicial nominees who have a solid record of applying the original intent of the Constitution and halt consideration of all pending judicial nominees from any administration who are hostile to any individual liberty guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

All Senators, particularly the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee need to remember what Adlai E. Stevenson, a Democrat, once said, "Howling is not a substitute for thinking."

The Senate must demand the president nominate only "originalist" judges who will not impose their own (or the president's) agenda on their decisions. Compromise is giving in to the enemies of liberty. There must be no compromise!

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