Judges. Yep, judges.
Many posters on here – and people who I run into in person – have expressed disappointment that more rah-rah conservatives have not been able to carry the day in the GOP Senate primaries in places like Kentucky, Georgia, Oregon, and my home state of North Carolina. I agree. I would love more senators of the Cruz-Lee-Paul brand.
However, a number of folks have stated that they will not support the GOP “establishment” winners of these Senate primaries when it comes to November. Some have stated they will vote for a 3rd party candidate, some said they will not vote, and others said they will vote for the Democrat. Some of the reasons I have heard for these statements are, among others: stop rewarding the “establishment,” it’s easier to root out an unentrenched Democrat than an entrenched Republican in the next election, we need to make the “establishment” listen to us, let the people have full-on liberals in Congress and then the next time the people will vote for true conservatives, we can repeal laws passed by a Congress full of liberals once we get the people to elect true conservatives, etc.
I can’t go along with this for one reason: judges. The next two years are (thankfully) the last 2 years of this Administration, which has shown it will stop at nothing to achieve its agenda. If Congress is controlled by liberals in 2015, will it pass some horrible laws? Sure. Just see 2009. Could some of those members of Congress be defeated in the next election? Absolutely. Could those laws feasibly be repealed by a conservative Congress and president? You betcha. But federal judges are appointed for life, and their decisions about the merits of these and other laws can last a long time. Some are good (Galloway v. Town of Greece) and others, not so much (NFIB v. Sebelius).
If the Democrats control the US Senate come January 2015, you can bet your last dollar that President Obama will attempt to push through as many liberal judicial nominees as he can until late January 2017. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (boo! hiss!) has already gotten rid of the filibuster for non-Supreme Court nominees. Don’t think he won’t do the same for Supreme Court nominees if he’s still majority leader in 2015. Justices Scalia and Kennedy are in their late 70s, Justice Thomas in his late 60s. What if something were to happen to just one of them in 2015 or 2016? And what if there was a Democrat-controlled Senate during that time? Currently, there are 68 federal court judicial vacancies, with 32 nominees pending. That’s a lot of liberal judges President Obama can ram down our throats in the next 2 years without a Republican Senate. And a lot of liberal judges – appointed for life – can do a lot of damage that can’t always be repealed or changed in Congress, at least not very easily.
Want another example of how important judges and control of the Senate are? Who here heard about the case from the 9th Circuit (!) striking down a local California provision restricting concealed carry? Want to know how the 9th Circuit actually came to its senses? It didn’t, at least not as a whole. It’s just that the two Judges in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents (Reagan and G.W. Bush) and confirmed by Republican-majority Senates.
Now, has our nation previously had Republican Senators who voted for liberal judicial nominees? Yes. Do I know for sure that my home state’s GOP “establishment” Senate nominee, Thom Tillis, will actually vote against every liberal judge President Obama nominates? No. But I do know a candidate in that race who WILL vote FOR every one of President Obama’s judicial nominees: Sen. Kay Hagan (D) (boo! hiss!).
For each of you reading this, you’ll have to make your own decisions about who you’re supporting or voting for in this year’s elections. I personally cannot allow my vote (or non-vote) to be a stamp of approval for the federal courts to be taken over (any more than they already are) by judges whose interpretations of the Constitution are untethered to its text, structure, or the intentions of its Framers for its provisions. As for me and my house, we’re voting for Tillis, and gladly rooting on all Republicans, “establishment” or otherwise, in November.