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
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
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.