While everyone is focusing on the political orientation of the Supreme Court, Obama is packing the district and appellate courts with radicals who subscribe to his view of the Constitution – aka no constitution. As we’ve noted before, Obama has appointed 156 Article III judges; 30 to courts of appeals and 124 to district courts.
We all understand that it is the president’s prerogative to appoint judges, and part of the spoils of his election victory is that he can pack the court with those who reflect his views. However, the Senate also has a stake in confirming those nominees. Republicans must oppose all nominees who refuse to follow the Constitution. More recently, pursuant to the “Thurmond Rule,” Republicans should block all consideration of judicial nominees until after the election.
Named after Senator Strum Thurmond 30 years ago, the Senate has adopted a bipartisan tradition not to bring a president’s judicial nominations to the floor within roughly half a year before the next election. Democrats enforced this rule with President Bush well before the expiration of both his terms. Republicans must return the favor.
Today, Democrats plan to violate the Thurmond Rule and bring the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach for the 10th circuit court to the floor for a cloture vote. Everyone agrees that we are now passed the time of the Thurmond Rule, yet Reid is pushing the nomination of an appellate judge. Republicans can stop this in its tracks by voting no on cloture. They can afford to lose 6 votes.
Some will suggest that such opposition will be overly political and violate the president’s right to appoint judges. But we have no choice. Unlike Clinton or other more traditional Democrats, Obama has been committed to appointing radical judges to every court. There is no doubt that Bacharach shares Obama’s view of an unrestricted interpretation of the Commerce Clause. Senator Mike Lee has led the charge in opposing every one of Obama’s nominees for this particular reason. A nominee might be clean of scandal and other vices, but if he/she does not believe in the Constitution as it was originally conceived, that individual is unqualified to serve on any court.
The Thurmond Rule gives every GOP senator a clean excuse to vote no on this nominee or any subsequent one that is brought before the floor for the rest of the year. Today’s vote will be very illuminating indeed.
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