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Daley v. Democrats
by Edward L. Daley
10 November 2003Janice Rogers Brown

What liberals really mean when they say Bush's judicial nominees are "outside the mainstream" is that the nominees are not pro-choice.


As most of us are now painfully aware, liberal legislators are routinely filibustering judicial nominees, supposedly because the views of those individuals are not "mainstream." What liberals really mean when they say the word mainstream is that the nominees are not pro-choice. They may argue against judicial nominees on other grounds, but it is apparent that their primary concern is with protecting the sacred cow of the liberal abortion-on-demand movement, the Roe v. Wade decision. Of course, the idea that women should not kill their unborn children when they have not been raped, or when their lives are not in jeopardy, is indeed a mainstream opinion in the United States. It's actually more mainstream than the opposing view, and it always has been. It's simply not a liberal point of view, and to liberals, any view which is not theirs is not considered mainstream.

These people seem to think that because they are practically incapable of making rational decisions regarding the actual laws of the land when those laws fail to reinforce their ideological worldview, that others are equally as deficient in this regard. Well, that simply isn't true, and, furthermore, judging a nominee to any court based upon an ideological difference of opinion is just plain improper. They are certainly free to argue that a person has shown poor judgment in the past, but just how do they define poor judgment? Liberals, like conservatives, are always going to believe that people on the opposing side of the political fence are exhibiting poor judgment, simply because they are not on THEIR side of it. If the acceptance of a person's political worldview or moral beliefs was to become the "litmus test" for qualification to a judgeship, nobody would ever get past first base with our elected representatives. Literally NO ONE would ever be considered capable of being a judge!

No qualified judicial nominee should ever be opposed because of his or her personal feelings regarding abortion, or any other social issue for that matter. It's not relevant to their ability to uphold the laws of our country. Furthermore, unlike most liberals, conservatives do have the ability to distinguish between reality and what they would like to see become a reality. Conservatives are, by their very nature, not very activist in most respects, and certainly not as activist as liberals have demonstrated they are, time and time again. That's why it's so ironic, as well as absurd, that liberals are the ones who are now crying wolf where the issue of potential judicial activism is concerned.

There are always exceptions to every rule, and I'm not suggesting that there aren't some fervid conservative activists in this country; however, none of the nominees currently being filibustered in the U.S. Senate have exhibited a strong tendency toward legal activism, or an inability to uphold the laws they would be charged with ruling upon. Determining whether a person should be considered qualified to be a judge isn't supposed to have anything to do with their political persuasion or personal beliefs, but you wouldn't know that to hear Ted Kennedy talk. In his mind, anyone who voices an opinion which is contrary to any law he happens to agree with is automatically disqualified to be a judge.

The true measure of a good jurist, however, is whether they have displayed the ability to look past their own ideology and logically follow the written law, and in each of these cases, the individuals being scrutinized have done so. In fact, they have all received the highest of ratings by the American Bar Association, and when gauged by any reasonable standard, have been declared appropriate judicial nominees by their peers. Still, that hasn't stopped Senate Democrats from hounding them relentlessly, doing everything in their power to assassinate the character of each and basically behaving as if they were all bigots of one form or another. The contentions of these Democrats are as hypocritical as they are derisory.

Let's suppose that our standards for judicial qualification were based upon whether or not a nominee believed that every single law currently on the books in the U.S. was proper and should never be changed. That would mean that anyone who has a problem with any law would never be qualified to be a judge; yet when a politician says that a person isn't qualified because they are morally opposed to Roe v. Wade, or some other controversial law, they are basically saying just that. They are suggesting that a judge can't oppose a law morally and still uphold it in court. That, of course, is ridiculous. No judge or any other human being agrees with every law, it's just not possible. So does that mean that we have no good judges in this country? Surely not, but if you buy into the liberal arguments which excuse the filibustering of our President's nominees; people like Priscilla Owen, Miguel Estrada and Bill Pryor, you're essentially supporting the argument that there aren't.

The best measure of a person's ability to be a judge is whether or not they have proved themselves to be capable of understanding the literal meaning of any given law, and ruling appropriately based upon that understanding. Judges aren't meant to be cheerleaders for causes, they are supposed to rule with impartiality and with deference toward our Constitution. Any judicial nominee who does not exhibit the proper respect for a law, merely because they disagree with it on moral grounds, should not be a judge. By the same token, anyone who may disagree strongly with a particular law, yet is still able to enforce it in court, is as qualified to sit on the bench as any jurist who agrees with it.

What we are seeing in our Senate these days is an ideological witch-hunt. The minority party has simply decided to block any nominee whom they believe to be too conservative minded. All of the nominees who have been tirelessly probed, maligned and ridiculed for their beliefs by people like Patrick Leahy and Charles Schumer are among the most highly qualified people going these days. In every relevant respect, they have proven themselves to be capable, thoughtful and learned individuals with experience and good character. It is absolutely reprehensible that any of them should be singled out because of their political points of view, and for Senate Democrats to actually take up the extreme measure of filibustering them, is beyond despicable.

Edward L. Daley is the owner of The Daley Times-Post
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